Fortnite’s Play Store Premiere: Google Offers $147M to Epic Games

In a recent court revelation, Google has disclosed a staggering $147 million offer made to Epic Games, the mastermind behind the popular game Fortnite, for its inclusion in the Google Play store for Android. 

This exclusive offer, approved by Purnima Kochikar, Google’s VP of Play partnerships, aims to prevent popular apps from leaving the official Android store. It’s a strategy to defend Google’s leading position and safeguard its in-app purchase earnings.

The Fortnite Saga Unveiled

Epic boldly chose an unconventional path in 2018 by releasing Fortnite on Android directly through its website, steering clear of Google’s Play Store. This strategic move allowed Epic to market Fortnite’s in-game currency, V-Bucks, without succumbing to the mandatory Play Store commission. However, in 2020, facing issues like intrusive security pop-ups, Epic reluctantly joined the Play Store.

Epic took legal action, filing an antitrust lawsuit against Google in the same year. They claimed Google reacted hastily to their initial move. Internal documents emerged, indicating Google’s fear of a “contagion risk” if other game developers followed suit in this courtroom drama.

This prompted Google to make a $147 million offer to Epic Games, spanning three years in “incremental funding,” aiming to retain control over app distribution.

Former head of Google Play’s games business development, Lawrence Koh, testified about Google’s fears of losing top game developers to competing platforms. Internal documents projected potential losses ranging from $130 to $250 million due to Fortnite’s absence, with a downstream loss reaching a staggering $3.6 billion if a mass defection ensued.

Google’s Defense vs. Epic’s Allegations

Google contends that its concern was legitimate—aiming to keep developers within the Play Store ecosystem, without any wicked motives. Kochikar emphasized in her testimony that the objective was merely to encourage developers to choose Play, a strategic move to prevent them from launching on competing platforms like Apple’s iOS.

A Glimpse into Google’s Game Business Strategy

While the existence of the $147 million deal doesn’t definitively prove Google’s monopoly, it offers a fascinating insight into how Google perceives and safeguards its games business. The ongoing courtroom battle between Google and Epic sheds light on the intricacies of app distribution and the fierce competition in the gaming industry.

Related: Epic Games vs Google: A Battle Over Fortnite Fees Goes to Court


1. Why did Epic initially choose to bypass the Google Play store for Fortnite on Android?

Epic Games chose to launch Fortnite independently, sidestepping the Google Play store to evade mandatory fees on in-app transactions.

2. What were the key factors that led Epic to relent and join the Google Play store in 2020?

Epic cited issues such as “scary, repetitive security pop-ups” as a significant disadvantage, prompting them to reconsider and eventually join the Google Play store in 2020.

3. How does Google justify its $147 million offer to Epic, and what are the alleged consequences of Fortnite’s absence from the Play Store?

Google argues that the offer was a strategic move to prevent a potential exodus of top game developers, safeguarding its revenue. Internal documents projected significant revenue losses if Fortnite and other developers defected from the Play Store.

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Aliha Zulfiqar
Aliha Zulfiqar
With a major in English Language and Literature, I'm a dedicated SEO Content Writer. Also, I love to write about technology. With over 2 years of experience, I've had the privilege of contributing to various renowned platforms. As I look forward to the future, I am committed to refining my work and delivering content that stands out.

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