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Google was so concerned that other app developers would follow Epic Games ’embrace of sideloader apps separately from the Play Store that it set up a“ Fortnite working group ”to maintain the status quo, the Epic court filing said.
The lawsuit between Epic Games and Google mainly focuses on Google’s trade policies and Epic’s desire to work differently with its products. Although the argument is similar to Apple-Epic’s courtroom fight, a court filing released Monday claims that Google has dealt with more issues because Android allows applications to be loaded from the side.
Submission from Epic transfers Financial Times claims that Google has set up an internal working group to try to dissuade Fortnite players from downloading games from sources other than the Play Store. In doing so, Epic says this helped Google secure transaction fees, but at the same time worked against the idea of Android being an “open” platform.
The ability to load apps to an Android device was more theoretical than in reality, it is said, in part because of Google’s creation of that workgroup. The team was created after “Fortnite” became available for direct download in August 2018, as well as distributed through the Samsung Galaxy Store.
Google is obviously worried that more developers will go the same way and offer their Android apps away from the Play Store, and that they will lose revenue.
The task force found a vulnerability in the Fortnite installer, which was used to intimidate users to stick to the Play Store for downloads and updates, Epic said. Despite what Google staff called internally a “non-critical (or even high) vulnerability,” the search company called it an “extremely serious security flaw” in a blog post and ran a media campaign about it.
An internal email was quoted, and Google’s head of security for Android characterized the warnings as “inappropriately scary for many of the types (vulnerabilities) we see from other developers.”
In response to the report, Google insisted that the vulnerability could “threaten consumer data. Security and safety are our top priorities, so we have, of course, taken steps to alert our users to this security flaw, in line with our application security policy.”
“We will continue to fight Epic’s claims in court,” Google concluded. The trial is currently scheduled for October 17, 2022.
On Tuesday, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney spoke at a conference in South Korea, using the platform to call Google “crazy” because of its fees and attacking Apple’s App Store policies.
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