Apple and Epic Games are readying their cases for a hearing on a preliminary injunction that will decide whether or not Fortnite will make it back into the App Store. Apple’s legal guns have fired back in the case, firing a countersuit against Epic for damages for breach of contract.
In a court filing earlier today, Apple claimed Epic Games’ lawsuit is “nothing more than a basic disagreement over money,” referring to the revenue Epic has earned from the Fortnite app and from using Apple’s developer tools.
Although Epic portrays itself as a modern corporate Robin Hood, in reality it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing for the tremendous value it derives from the App Store. Epic’s demands for special treatment and cries of “retaliation” cannot be reconciled with its flagrant breach of contract and its own business practices, as it rakes in billions by taking commissions on game developers’ sales and charging consumers up to $99.99 for bundles of “V-Bucks.”
For years, Epic took advantage of everything the App Store had to offer. It availed itself of the tools, technology, software, marketing opportunities, and customer reach that Apple provided so that it could bring games like Infinity Blade and Fortnite to Apple customers all over the world. It enjoyed the tremendous resources that Apple pours into its App Store to constantly innovate and create new opportunities for developers and experiences for customers, as well as to review and approve every app, keeping the App Store safe and secure for customers and developers alike.
As noted by MacRumors, Apple says Epic Games has used over 400 of Apple’s APIs and frameworks, five versions of the Apple SDK, has had its apps reviewed more than 200 times, and has pushed more than 140 updates to Apple customers. Apple also notes that it has advertised the game for each new season of Fortnite, offering “free promotion and favorable tweets” to more than 500 million users.
Apple says that Epic Games’ “willful, brazen, and unlawful conduct” of applying a “hotfix” to Fortnite that added a direct payment option can’t be left unchecked, asking the court for damages and an order that prevents Epic from furthering its unfair business practices.
Epic Games over the weekend filed for a preliminary injunction that would force Apple to allow Fortnite back on the App Store as well as restore the game maker’s access to its developer account.
The filing stated that Epic Games is willing to challenge Apple “because it was the right thing to do” and “it was better positioned than many other companies to weather the storm.” Epic claims Apple is a “monopolist” who maintains its dominant position by “explicitly prohibiting any competitive entry” to both app distribution and in-app payment processing markets.
Epic says it will suffer “irreparable harm” if Fortnite is not restored to the App Store and that “the balance of harm tips strongly in Epic’s favor.” The game publisher says daily iOS active users have already declined by over 60% since the app’s removal from the App Store.
Epic wants the court to rule in its favor, allowing the app to stay in the store with the direct payment option that defies App Store rules.
The preliminary injunction hearing is scheduled for Monday, September 28.