Judge Bristles at Google’s October 2022 Date for Fortnite Case

A federal judge pushed back on a Google suggestion that its lawsuit with Epic Games over Fortnite should be scheduled in October of 2022. Epic Games suggested an alternative date of February 2021. 

At a hearing last Thursday in the Northern District of California Court in San Francisco, Judge James Donato told Epic and Google that a nearly two-year delay in the start of the case was unacceptable, and while he was happy to give them an opportunity to agree on a date that works for them, they should “get moving.”

Like its lawsuit with Apple, Epic is suing Google for charging a 15-30% commission on each sale in the Google Play app store for Android mobile devices. And like it did on the Apple App Store, Epic decided to deploy a hotfix that gave consumers the ability to purchase directly from the company within the game and avoid transactions through Google Play. This led to Google removing Fortnite from its store.

Google has been less aggressive in its approach to Epic; In addition to removing Fortnite from its platform, Apple attempted – and failed – to revoke Epic’s developer status and remove its game engine development platform, Unreal Engine.  Unreal Engine is used to develop a number of high-profile games including PUBG Mobile and its Chinese counterpart Peacekeeper Elite. U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted Epic a preliminary injunction protecting the game engine platform in September, mainly because it would impact consumers and the thousands of developers who use it. 

That case, which will rely on a judge to rule instead of a jury, is tentatively scheduled for July 2021.