Activision Blizzard has labelled Epic's claim that it was bribed into not creating its own app store as "nonsense", denying that it received $360 million in exchange for not competing with Google. This comes after documents from Epic's lawsuit against Google were unredacted, revealing that the game company accused Google of paying off competitors, keeping games on its app store.
Going under the name "Project Hug", court documents suggest that Google paid multiple companies hundreds of millions to convince them to stay on the Google Play Store. Activision Blizzard, however, is denying reports that it was included in this, stating that it was never "asked or pressured" into not competing with Google.
"Google never asked us, pressured us, or made us agree not to compete with them," says executive vice president for corporate affairs, Lulu Cheng Meservey. "We’ve already submitted documents and testimony disproving this nonsense."
Google is yet to release a statement on the matter, and it seems that the tech giant will avoid commenting on it altogether.
These allegations against Google are nothing new, with the company previously accused of paying off multiple other potential rivals. Project Hug apparently included the likes of Tencent, Nintendo, and Riot Games. This apparently came after Fortnite was pulled from its own app store for trying to avoid sharing in-app purchase revenue with Google and Apple, with the former eager to avoid other companies using the opportunity to strike out on their own.
This is far from the wildest turn in the Epic Vs. Apple and Google saga. During its antitrust lawsuit against Google, it was suggested that Google actually wanted to buy Epic. This was apparently done to "squelch [the] threat" of Epic becoming an app store rival.
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