Epic Games is piling up lawsuits with app store owners. This time, Google is suing Epic for breach of contract.
Epic signed contracts with both Google and Apple and promised to use the standard payment systems for in-app purchases. However, as part of its push for more open payment systems (and to evade the 30 percent fee of each platform), Epic boldly pushed updates to its Android and iOS apps that switched payment processing from the company’s in-app purchases. platforms to Epic’s in-house system. Google and Apple both allege that this move was a violation of their app store contracts with Epic.
Apple filed a lawsuit and received a ruling last month. Epic was ordered to pay $3.65 million in damages to cover Apple’s lost revenue from Epic’s three months of subsistence payments. After that ruling, Google also wants its missing money, and now it’s going against Epic, hoping for a similar ruling.
Google’s indictment reads: “Epic intentionally violated the DDA” [Developer Distribution Agreement] by submitting a version of Fortnite for publication on Google Play using a payment method other than Google Play Billing for in-app content purchases. By doing so, Epic denied Google its service charges under the DDA for purchases made through the app outside of Google Play Billing.”
Google continues: “The users who downloaded the incompatible version of Fortnite before it was removed from Google Play will still be able to use Epic’s hotfixed third-party payment mechanism to make in-app purchases, allowing Epic to pay its contractually agreed-upon service fees to Google. evade for those purchases.”
Google argues that “Epic has also been unjustifiably enriched at the expense of Google” and is demanding restitution of its missing earnings and damages.
Google’s lawsuit also takes time to draw a clear line between Android and iOS, saying that “unlike competitors like Apple, Google does not require Android users or developers to use Google Play to run apps on Android.” download, install, or distribute” and that “most Android phones” come preloaded with multiple app stores. Google claims that “consumers and developers don’t have to use Google Play; they choose to use it when given a choice of Android app stores and distribution channels.”
The implication: If Epic doesn’t like the Play Store rules, it’s free to go elsewhere.