Epic Games has made a new accusation against Google. She said that in 2018, the corporation was seriously concerned about the developer’s plans to release Fortnite on Android bypassing Google Play. So much so that she created a working group that was supposed to prevent this.

Epic Games published such a statement in response to a counterclaim that it received from Google in October.

Recall that last month Google finally decided to challenge in court the claims of the developer about the removal of Fortnite from Google Play (the conflict began in August 2020). In the lawsuit, the corporation accused Epic Games of knowingly violating the rules of the store when it added its payment system to Fortnite, and jeopardized the security of users.

According to Epic Games, the corporation is lying when it talks about user safety. As a confirmation of his words, the Fortnite developer spoke about Google’s position in the year of the release of the battle royale on Android.

In 2018, Epic Games planned to release Fortnite on Android through the Galaxy Store — the Samsung Electronics app store — and its own website. Google didn’t like this scheme because it was losing commission from games installed in this way. As a result, the corporation decided to form a special team that would convince developers to release the Android version of the title only on Google Play.

The Google team discussed the situation with Epic Games on a daily basis. During one of the meetings, she pointed out that there are vulnerabilities in the version of Fortnite published not on Google Play. Usually, when Google notices a similar problem, it gives developers 90 days to fix it. In the case of Fortnite, she did not wait until the entire deadline expired, and after 9 days she informed the press about a potential threat from the version of Fortnite that she did not approve.

“Google neglected the safety of users and rushed to tell about the problems,” Epic Games said in the documents. According to the developer, the corporation did this to force developers to remove the game from other stores and “maintain a monopoly on the distribution of Android applications.”

Google has already commented on Epic Games’ statement. The corporation denied the accusation of mercenary intentions:

“Epic Games has released Fortnite for Android with security vulnerabilities that could compromise consumer data. Safety and security are our top priorities. Therefore, of course, we have taken measures and warned users about these vulnerabilities in accordance with our application security policy. We will continue to challenge Epic Games’ claims in court,” Google spokesman Peter Schottenfels said.

This is not the first accusation of Google that it is trying to keep developers in its store. For example, earlier the same Epic Games indicated that in 2019 Google launched the Premier Device Program initiative. As part of it, the corporation promised smartphone manufacturers additional payments so that they would not pre-install other stores on the devices. She also allegedly had a Project Hug program for large developers — Google paid them not to leave Google Play.

In the summer, Google’s similar actions were also mentioned by the authorities of 37 American states, which filed an antitrust lawsuit against the corporation.