Epic Games: Google allegedly considered taking over

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Google is said to have considered buying game developer Epic Games. At least that is what Epic Games itself claims in court documents, some of which have recently become accessible without being redacted. Google is said to have considered buying Epic or business shares in order to prevent the creation of an alternative app store to the Google Play Store. According to the document, Google called such a possible development an “epidemic”.

Evidence for the takeover intentions on the part of Google go out of the Court document not emerge. It is also unclear when Google should have made these considerations. Epic didn’t know anything about Google’s plans at the time, commented CEO Tim Sweeney Report from The Verge on twitter. So there was no offer.

In fact, Epic Games has only just heard about the takeover by Google, Sweeney continues. It is unclear which source Epic Games relies on. The court document alleging purchase intentions by Epic Games was filed by Epic’s attorneys on July 21st. Large parts of the document remain blackened.

Epic and Google are arguing in court about the openness of the Android store Play Store. Google takes the line that Android is an open platform because you can basically also download apps from other stores. Epic, on the other hand, sees these so-called sideloads at a severe disadvantage: Downloading apps from other stores or directly from websites is more complicated for users, and Google also scares them with warnings of possible malware.

In the court document, Epic backed up this line of argument with alleged statements from Google executives. A Google manager described the sideloading in a telephone conversation with an Epic manager as “miserable” and “terrible experience”. Epic should keep in mind that most users would not take the necessary steps. According to the document, Google wanted to pave the way for a special solution with Epic Games with such statements – so the call must have taken place at a time when Epic Games had not yet offered “Fortnite” in the Google Play Store.

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In April 2020 “Fortnite” ended up in the Play Store. A few months later, Epic provoked the removal of its popular game from both Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. Epic subsequently sued both companies. It is likely that Epic would like to offer a mobile app store on the two platforms. Epic Games already operates a store with games and some applications for Windows.


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