Google Wants to Win at an Epic Game

November 30, 2021

Google is not afraid of other search engines, but it is afraid that Epic Games could topple its already crumbling videogame empire. The Straits Times explores Google’s reaction in the article, “Google Formed ‘Fortnite Task Force’ In Response To Epic Game’s Moves.” Google created the team when Epic released an Android version of Fortnite to Samsung’s Galaxy Store and directly through Epic’s own Web site bypassing the Google Play store.

Epic wants to avoid paying app store commission fees, especially after Google and Apple removed Fortnite from its app stores last year. Epic sued, then Google countersued. Google stated in its counter suit that Epic sold an “unapproved” Fortnite version and it placed users at risk. Epic had their own evidence to share:

“On Monday, Epic responded with a forceful rebuttal of Google’s claims. That filing included details about Google’s “Fortnite Task Force”, which was meant to help cope with the game bypassing its app store. The group met daily in 2018, according to Epic, which cited internal Google documents. As part of its work, the task force latched onto a potential security problem for users installing Fortnite outside of Google’s app store, Epic said.”

Google shared with the media that Epic released an unsafe version. Epic claims that this was a scare tactic, so developers would not release apps outside of Google Play and thus Google would maintain a monopoly on Android apps.

Both Apple and Google have monopolies on their own markets. It sucks, but there is not much way around. Unofficial app releases can gain popularity, but they do run the risk of exposure. Is there any way around this?

Whitney Grace, November 30, 2021

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