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Epic vs. Google Ruling Should Help Make the Metaverse Much More Android-Centric


Epic vs Google Metaverse Platform

Above: From the Epic vs. Google ruling [.pdf here]

We won't directly feel the impact of Epic winning its lawsuit against Google immediately, but barring some reversals, the Metaverse should start becoming much more Android-centric in coming years. That is, if Epic's Tim Sweeney, who's made fighting Apple and Google's control of mobile app stores key to the Metaverse's future, gets his way. We'll know for sure in early 2024:

Mind you, we don’t know what Epic has won quite yet — that’s up to Judge James Donato, who’ll decide what the appropriate remedies might be. Epic never sued for monetary damages; it wants the court to tell Google that every app developer has total freedom to introduce its own app stores and its own billing systems on Android, and we don’t yet know how or even whether the judge might grant those wishes. Both parties will meet with Judge Donato in the second week of January to discuss potential remedies.

All of the leading metaverse platforms, starting with Fortnite and Roblox, have a highly popular mobile app for Android, as does mid-range leaders Zepeto, Rec Room, and VRChat (which just launched the open beta of its Android app last week). OG influencer Second Life is expected to launch its own mobile app (for both iOS and Android) next year.

Up until now, the big barrier has been the 30% commission Google and Apple takes on any mobile purchase made on its platform. Indeed, it's the immediate excuse/rationale a company like Roblox makes for only giving its community creators a small fraction of the revenue earned on that platform. But depending on Judge Danato's remedies, that may substantially change.

In any case, with Epic having lost a similar lawsuit against Apple and its App Store, so that Apple can still set its own terms, Android is becoming the first go-to option for metaverse platforms. But check back late next month to see! 


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