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Google is countersuing Epic for the original "Project Liberty" stunt that launched its lawsuits against Apple and Google.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

October 12, 2021

1 Min Read
An image from Fortnite's "Free Fortnite." campaign. The screenshot is a reference to Apple's 1984 ad.

Google has filed a counter-lawsuit against Epic Games for its original "Project Liberty" stunt, where the company attempted to circumvent Play Store fees by having Android Fortnite players purchase in-app currency directly from Epic.

This countersuit also repeatedly denies the claims made in Epic's original lawsuit against Google, which alleged the company was partaking in anticompetitive pracitces on the Android platform.

Epic's argument against Google (despite being about developer fees similar to those seen on the iOS App Store) was always on somewhat shakier ground since Google allows other app stores to be installed on Android devices. Google is seeking damages that equal the value of revenue lost during the project liberty scheme, where players purchased in-app Fortnite currency without paying any money to Google through the Play Store version.

Google does have some hurdles to clear in proving its Android operations aren't anticompetitive. Epic alleged that the company engaged in its own financial skullduggery with "Project Hug," an initiative to financially coerce large developers into keeping their apps on the Google Play store.

But despite those allegations, Epic now has to overcome the fact that a federal judge has already mostly ruled against it in its parallel lawsuit against Apple. With the more restrictive of the two mobile platforms already found to be "non-monopolistic," it'll be interesting to see which of these two "Projects" a judge is most dissatisfied with. 

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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