The mobile gaming market could have been very different from what we know today, if it weren’t for the fact that Google closed at least 24 different agreements with different well-known video game developers, with the aim of preventing them from launching their application stores. Alternatives to Google Play Store.
At least that is what a report that Reuters has brought to light suggests, in which it is cited that firms such as Activision or Riot Games agreed with Google not to compete with the search engine company’s app and game store. Activision, however, has denied that such an agreement existed.
The information has been revealed from a document that is part of the lawsuit that Epic Games, a developer of video games like Fortnite, filed against Google in 2020.
In said document, it is specified that Google closed an agreement with Activision Blizzard worth 360 million dollars to be paid in three years, and 30 million dollars for Riot Games, to be paid in one year. Apparently, other companies such as Ubisoft or Nintendo would also be part of the list of agreements, but the financial details have not been disclosed for now.
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Apparently, Google and its partners referred to this initiative as “Project Hug” or “Project Hug”. Google’s goal, according to documentation filed by Epic, was to keep developers satisfied through measures such as payments for posting videos on YouTube or credits for offers on Google services, including advertising and cloud tools. All this, in exchange for the developer companies agreeing not to launch their own alternative app stores to the Play Store.
Given the leaked information, Activision Blizzard ensures that it never closed an agreement of this type with Google, and that the search engine company “never asked, pressured or made it accept that it not compete with Google Play.” They ensure, therefore, that Epic’s “allegations do not make sense.” For its part, Riot Games has not ruled on the matter.