Epic Games has 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 comes one week after Apple terminated Epic’s developer account.
The filing states 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 violated App Store rules on August 13, when it introduced a direct payment option in Fortnite that attempted an end-run around Apple’s in-app purchases system. Shortly after the move was discovered, Apple removed the game from the App Store, which led to a lawsuit from Epic and a fierce legal battle between the two companies.
Apple then told Epic Games it would terminate the company’s complete access to its App Store and app development tools. Epic Games said that Apple told it that on August 28, all access will be terminated. And it has.
Apple has said that it’s ready to welcome Fortnite back to the App Store if Epic Games will remove the game’s new direct payment option. Epic has refused to back down, however.
The preliminary injunction was filed on Friday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and the hearing is scheduled to take place on September 28.