The video game industry is usually quite calm with all companies working on their respective projects. However, sometimes we come across deals like the one between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard, which gave us non-stop news for over a year and a half. Now, we have another drama in the industry: the trial between Epic Games and Google, but suddenly Sony is mentioned as the one responsible for preventing game prices from dropping.
To understand what’s happening now, we must first travel back to 2020. In that year, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming it was conducting an illegal monopoly by dominating the market with its high 30% commissions on the Play Store. Later, we saw Epic Games also file a lawsuit against Apple for the same reason – the company took a 30% cut for each sale in their store. Epic Games tried to fight both to avoid these fees, and in the end, in 2023, Apple emerged the winner.
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, claims they cannot lower game prices due to Sony
This left the battle with only two contenders: Epic Games and Google, which are still fighting to reach a conclusion. The trial resumed on November 7th, and since then, we’ve seen some developments and previously unknown details. For example, a few days ago, it was revealed that Google had plans to buy Epic Games in 2018 to own Fortnite and promote Stadia.
As we all know, Stadia vanished from the face of the earth, becoming an abandoned project. Returning to the trial between Google and Epic Games, we have Tim Sweeney, who stated that they cannot lower the price of games like Fortnite due to their agreement with Sony and PlayStation. Tim maintains that they can’t sell games outside of PlayStation at a lower price because of said agreement.
They signed an agreement that prevents them from selling below the cost on PlayStation
According to the CEO, these types of contracts are common with PlayStation and are not related to Sony being a shareholder of Epic. The most favored nation (MFN) clause signed with Sony is to blame, but there’s nothing they can do about it. However, Tim admits that V-Bucks, the in-game currency for purchasing skins and more, are more profitable on PC than on Apple and Android due to the lack of fees. Remember that Fortnite and all its microtransactions are linked to the Epic Games Store owned by the company, generating direct benefits.
Tim Sweeney asserts that if Google didn’t have its high fees, Epic could earn billions of additional dollars just from Fortnite. Google maintains its stance against allowing third-party payments for in-app purchases in the Play Store, citing potential security risks and a negative impact on the user experience.
The entry of Epic Games’ CEO implicates Sony in the trial with Google, claiming their agreement prevents game prices from being lowered, which first appears on El Chapuzas Informático.