Epic wanted to avoid paying the Play Store fees that Google charges so bad, that it reached out to NVIDIA to collaborate on a workaround. Details about Epic’s plans are coming to light as part of its ongoing trial with Apple.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Epic even proposed a compromise to Google. Requesting for Google to allow Fortnite on the Play Store without paying the fees. In return, it would bring Fortnite to Stadia. Google obviously declined, and down the road Tim Sweeney said Stadia wasn’t worth the effort when asked why Fortnite wasn’t available on the platform. Noting that it didn’t have mass market appeal.
This was likely one of many attempts Epic has made to skirt around Google’s 30% licensing cut that it issues to all app developers for in-app purchases. While Epic never actually ended up working with NVIDIA to get around these Play Store fees, its methods are interesting nonetheless. As it displays just how far Epic was willing to go.
Epic tried to use NVIDIA GeForce NOW to emulate Fortnite and avoid Play Store fees
Based on email documents shared by IGN’s Julia Alexander, (via Android Central), Epic reached out to NVIDIA about emulating Fortnite. The process would involve NVIDIA using GeForce NOW to emulate the mobile version of Fortnite using an Android emulator.
Players could then access the emulated version of the game on Android devices via the GeForce NOW app. NVIDIA says this would have allowed the game to be played with touch controls. While also avoiding having to use a gamepad.
This was a slightly different approach from the solution NVIDIA came up with for Apple’s App Store. Which involved running the PC version through GeForce NOW servers using a WebRTC protocol to Safari. Not only would this avoid the App Store, but it would allow for Bluetooth gamepad use.
None of the dates are listed with these emails. But since Epic eventually caved and agreed to Apple and Google’s terms for a time, the correspondence was obviously before that point. How long before is unclear.
Either way it doesn’t really matter. Because Epic and NVIDIA never brought these plans to fruition. Still, it’s a light shed on Epic’s mentality over this whole ordeal. Ultimately, Epic really wants to get its way. So much so that it came up with some creative ways to get around Apple and Google’s licensing fees.