Google to “Get away” with gaming monopoly, says Epic CEO


Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney believes that the Google Play Store will continue to make money from developers using the Google Play platform.

The Google Play store currently takes a 30% commission fee from payments received on the digital marketplace and for “in-store” gaming elements. Gaming developers have called this fee “excessive” before Sweeney and Epic Games won a landmark case last week via a jury verdict.

Epic win for gaming developer

The gaming powerhouse released a statement via their website stating that the verdict “is a win for all app developers and consumers around the world. It proves that Google’s app store practices are illegal and they abuse their monopoly to extract exorbitant fees, stifle competition, and reduce innovation.”

Google does reserve the right to appeal and challenge the verdict, however, this is likely to result in the company adhering to revised rules and a change to how they operate with developers moving forward.

Sweeny would go on this week to tell the Financial Times that his “gravest concern in all of this is Google really genuinely thinks that they are going to get away with continuing their scheme.”

Fees at the heart of the matter

The Epic Store charges developers a 12% fee for the use of its storefront in contrast to the 30% charged by Google.

In the statement released via the Epic Newsroom, the company states that “Google imposes a 30% tax on developers simply because they have prevented any viable competitors from emerging to offer better deals. And Google executives acknowledged in Court that their offer of a 26% rate on third-party payment options is a fake choice for developers.”

Google had stated that Epic using its own game store would violate its payment policy:

”Developers charging for app downloads from Google Play must use Google Play’s billing system as the method of payment for those transactions.”

Epic also uses a form of “in-game currency” for micro-transactions such as weapon skins, clothing, and avatars, called V Bucks. Meaning the gaming developer makes 100% profit from the use of its own online store, where a heavy premium is placed upon them from the Google Play route when gamers interact with Epic content.

Finally, the statement on the Epic Newsroom site states that the “evidence presented in this case demonstrates the urgent need for legislation and regulations that address Apple and Google strangleholds.”

December to remember

Epic Games has had an eventful month on and off of devices with the announcement of the Big Bang, bringing three new modes – Lego Fortnite, Rocket Racing (based on Rocket League). and finally, the Fortnite Festival – a new rhythm game from Harmonix, makers of Guitar Hero and Rockband.

Image Credit: Unsplash. 


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