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Rumor: Google Paid Activision Blizzard Millions to Prevent a Rival App Store from Emerging

Recent reports have revealed that Google has paid Activision Blizzard and Riot Games millions of dollars to prevent rival app stores from emerging on mobile.

This information was first published by Reuters after investigating a copy of Epic Games’ lawsuit against Google in 2020. If you’re interested in games from Activision Blizzard and Riot Games, you can check out our other articles here.

Did Google pay Activision Blizzard millions to prevent rival app stores from emerging?

Reuters reports that Google has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on deals with several leading developers in an effort to dissuade them from launching their own app stores on Android.

This revelation comes after Reuters reviewed a copy of Epic Games’ recently unredacted lawsuit against Google in 2020.

According to Reuters, the documents show that Google paid Activision Blizzard 360 million USD over 3 years, with another 30 million USD paid to Riot Games over 1 year.

In total, there are 24 highlighted deals between Google and big-name developers, including Ubisoft, Nintendo, and non-gaming app providers.

It is said that the deal is part of “Project Hug” and involves payments for uploading videos to YouTube as well as credits for Google offerings such as advertising and cloud services.

According to Reuters, Google said that the deal was to keep developers satisfied and reflect healthy competition. However, Epic Games’ lawsuit claims that the deal was done by Google to block rival app stores.

For example, the Activision Blizzard deal is said to have been made in January 2020, not long after the company told Google that it was considering launching its own marketplace on Android.

Activision Blizzard and Riot Games Response

Reuters stated that Riot Games is reviewing the new filing, while Activision Blizzard did not comment on it.

Interestingly, Lulu Cheng Meservey, EVP of Corporate Affairs and CCO of Activision Blizzard, recently stated on Twitter that the claims made by Epic Games in its lawsuit are “false”.

Epic accused Activision Blizzard’s partner Google of paying us not to compete with them.

To be clear: it’s wrong.

Google has never asked us, pressured us, or made us agree not to compete with them – and we have submitted documents and testimonies that refute this nonsense.

Lulu Cheng Meservey, EVP Corporate Affairs and CCO of Activision Blizzard

For now, we can only wait for official statements from Riot Games and other related companies.

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