Apple Blacklists Epic Games From App Store After Court Ruling
Though the court has issued a ruling in the long legal battle between Epic Games and Apple, it appears neither side is remotely finished fighting. This was made very apparent in a new document shared by Epic Games’ vocal CEO Tim Sweeney, which shows the publisher’s request to be reinstated to Mac and iOS devices met with a very firm “no” by Apple, followed by a complete blacklisting from the App Store.
This is only the latest legal blows traded by Epic and Apple, starting after Fortnite purposefully circumvented the App Store’s microtransaction policies and escalating when the battle royale game, and Epic itself, were completely banned from the Apple platform. The ensuing court battle concluded without a definitive “winner,” ordering Apple to enable third-party microtransactions across the App Store and requiring Epic to pay $6 million for breaching its contract.
Following the court’s ruling, Sweeney’s issued a letter to Apple posed as a message of “clarity” and “common ground,” acknowledging the legal result and requesting the return of App Store developer tools to bring Fortnite back to Mac and iOS devices. “Epic promises that it will adhere to Apple’s guidelines whenever and wherever we release products on Apple platforms,” Tim Sweeney’s letter read.
“Whether Epic chooses to bring Fortnite back to iOS customers depends on whether and where Apple updates its guidelines to provide for a level playing field between Apple In-App Purchase and other methods of payment,” the CEO continued. “In that case, our remaining dispute will be about competing stores, and I genuinely believe we could find common ground on the topic if Apple’s position were based solely on user security and privacy rather than commercial interests.”
In a response letter from Apple, the Mac-maker decided not to “consider any further requests” from Epic, and will continue ignoring them “until the district court’s judgment becomes final and nonappealable.” This response was labeled as “blacklisting” by the Epic CEO, and the lengthy “exhaustion of all court appeals,” could feasibly extend Fortnite’s absence on iOS to “as long as a 5-year process,” according to Sweeney.
“Apple lied,” Sweeney said on Twitter. “Apple spent a year telling the world, the court, and the press they’d ‘welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else’. Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users.” A follow-up tweet read, “This is another extraordinary anticompetitive move by Apple, demonstrating their power to reshape markets and choose winners and losers.”
As neither side was satisfied with the outcome of the lawsuit, this was never going to be the end of Apple and Epic’s feud. The Fortnite publisher expressed as much directly after the ruling, and it seems Apple is now expressing similar sentiments, though, utilizing a more overtly unfriendly approach. As per Reuters, Epic is scheduled to appeal the court’s decision to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on December 12th, while Apple has until January 20th, 2022 to respond. It’s going to be a long few years.
What do you think? Are you surprised Apple is extending its legal battle with Epic Games, or did you figure the iOS-maker wouldn’t settle for anything less? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day!
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Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his biweekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.