Epic Games sued Google for banning Fortnite from the Google Play Store on Thursday night following a similar lawsuit against Apple.
We might have expected that. What We Didn't Expect: Epic claims Google forced phone maker OnePlus to cancel a deal that would have pre-installed a special Fortnite launcher on OnePlus phones – and urged another Android phonemaker, LG, to do so .
With OnePlus, Epic claims that Google "forced OnePlus to cancel the deal" after Google expressed "concerns" about Epic's ability to bypass the Play Store. Epic also claims that the original contract between Epic and OnePlus made the launcher available worldwide, but Google "urged OnePlus not to implement its agreement with Epic with the limited exception of mobile devices sold in India".
Epic also claims that Google "prevented LG from pre-installing the Epic Games app on LG devices" because LG had – as LG apparently said – a contract to "block downloads of pages from the Google Play Store earlier this year ".
Google declined to comment on the details of these offers when The Verge contacted him.
Without Google blocking these types of deals, the studio could and would negotiate with OEMs to bring Fortnite and other Epic games directly to consumers, without Google's anti-competitive restrictions. Instead, Epic gave in after these deals were posted and released Fortnite on the Play Store in April. (It ended up working with OnePlus on another Fortnite feature.)
Today, Google kicked Fortnite out of the Play Store for violating the store's policies after Epic implemented a new payment mechanism that allowed players to pay Epic directly for in-game currency. (It still offered the option to pay through Google's payment mechanism, but at a higher price.) Epic's complaint against Google alleged that the company was violating the Sherman Act and California's Cartwright Act by having a monopoly on them have the payment systems in the Play Store.
Apple booted Fortnite from the App Store Store on Thursday for reasons similar to Google. Shortly thereafter, Epic sued the iPhone manufacturer and made similar complaints as against Google. Epic also parodied Apple's iconic "1984" ad.
Update, 10:45 p.m. ET: It was added that Google declined to comment.