Epic reportedly rejected a massive deal to bring Fortnite to the Google Play Store that would have earned it a solid nine-figure payday. The company behind one of the world’s largest online games and Unreal Engine could have netted well over a hundred million if it accepted Google’s deal.
That’s according to Google via testimony from VP of Play Partnerships Purnima Kochikar. Testimony was heard during the company’s ongoing trial with Epic over Play Store fees. Kochikar notes that the deal was presented to Epic following its decision to forego Google’s storefront. And that it would have seen the company earn a total of $147 million over a three-year period.
Epic has been highly critical of Google and its 30% cut of Play Store revenue earned from in-app purchases. So much so that it chose to launch Fortnite for Android outside of the Play Store. Instead offering the game’s download file directly on its own website. This apparently prompted Google to offer Epic the $147 million deal. As Epic puts it, the money was offered because Google went into a panic and was afraid Epic’s choice to launch outside of Play could have a snowball effect. And that other developers might follow.
The Fortnite Google Play deal was meant to prevent a large developer exodus
Google reportedly feared that Epic leaving would cause other big developers and publishers to do the same. Which it says could have cost the company billions in revenue. Details about these fears (as noted by The Verge) were referred to as “contagion documents” and mention that Google could have potentially lost up to $3.6 billion. That is of course if other publishers left the Play Store in a mass exodus. This obviously didn’t happen. But at the time Google was apparently afraid that it would.
Former Google Play Games head Lawrence Koh also testified at the trial this week noting that Google felt the investment was “worth all the dollars.” Continuing that the company was just trying to get games on the Google Play service.