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Google Was Interested in Purchasing Epic Games Prior to Stadia’s Launch

Google & Epic Games logos

Much like the Apple court battle, the Epic vs. Google lawsuit has revealed some interesting facts. One of the most interesting bits of information pertains to Google’s interest in purchasing Epic Games. This interest surged prior to the release of the Stadia platform and sought to influence the gaming giant’s approach to Android. This didn’t ultimately go through, of course. But still, one can only wonder what could have been.

The Verge is the outlet that found this interesting tidbit of information, and it relates to back when Google was working on Project Elektra. This project, according to Google’s internal emails and presentations, saw Google seek to acquire Epic Games to make Fortnite the centerpiece of Android. The project was even looking to enlist the help of Epic’s stake holder, Tencent.

An email from Google’s Don Harrison reads, “We are bringing a package offering to BC on Thursday re Epic. Spoke to Jamie and I think we need a couple of pages about what investment could look like and someone there to discuss (based on whatever we can glean publicly). We just did a prep call and investment was the only way people could realistically think of to sway them on Epic’s approach to Android — because it’s easy to imagine us investing billions at some ridiculous valuation (for everyone except for the corpdev folks).

The new findings also reveal that Google’s Dave Sobota proposed that Google ally with Tencent and buy Epic Games’ shares. Had this deal gone through, Google would have co-owned Fortnite back in 2018, the year many would say Fortnite’s popularity peaked. Failing to purchase the entire stake, Google considered purchasing a 20% stake in Epic Games for $2 billion. Moreover, ex-Stadia lead Phil Harrison also said that Fortnite could be a leading business driver for Google products such as YouTube.

The deal nowadays seems like a dream of a bygone era. But it still begs the question of what could’ve happened if Google owned its share of the Fortnite developer, especially if it was one of the strongest drivers behind its Stadia platform.

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