After Epic Games got into a fight with Apple and Google over the App Stores in the past few hours, the lawsuits of the Fortnite developer now also provide insights behind the scenes. Epic accuses the Android manufacturer of having interfered in the business of the two smartphone manufacturers.
According to The Verge, Google is said to have been instrumental in preventing an agreement between Epic and the smartphone manufacturer OnePlus. Part of this deal is said to have included a Fortnite launcher for OnePlus devices, which would have been pre-installed on the devices.
Google had expressed concerns to OnePlus that such pre-installed software for Epic Games would have made it possible to bypass the Play Store. As a result, the launcher and installation of Epic’s titles without going through the Play Store is now only available to users in India. This is the only exception that Google has allowed the smartphone manufacturer.
Epic’s lawyers continue to write in the lawsuit that LG is affected in a similar way. There is said to be a contract between Google and LG in which the smartphone manufacturer blocks “side downloading off Google Play Store this year”. “Google has prevented LG from pre-installing the Epic Games app on LG devices,” the suit says.
Without such blocking by Google, “could and would negotiate with OEMs to make Fortnite and other Epic games directly available to consumers”. Epic describes Google’s actions as “anti-competitive restraints”.
Apple and Google had banned Epics Fortnite from the App Store and Play Store respectively in the past hours after the game developer introduced a direct payment method that bypasses the in-app purchases of the two app stores. This in turn violates the rules of the app stores. The company then filed a lawsuit against Apple and Google.