Epic Games Asks Court To Restore Fortnite On Apple’s App Store
A legal battle between Epic Games and Apple has been underway for the last few weeks, the game publisher pursuing a suit after Fortnite’s removal from the iOS App Store. Much of the drama behind the legal proceedings have arrived on the side of Epic, with the company putting out everything from a parody short film, an in-game trolling event, to the likes of Microsoft positioning themselves on the opposite side of Apple’s decision-making. As Apple continues to ignore support for the developer’s projects on iOS, Epic Games is now attempting to restore Fortnite on the App Store through the aid of the court.
Today we asked the Court to stop Apple’s retaliation against Epic for daring to challenge its unlawful restrictions while our antitrust case proceeds. This is a necessary step to free consumers and developers from Apple’s costly, anti-competitive control. https://t.co/r2XxhitjMp
— Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom) September 5, 2020
As revealed in a newly-released Twitter post, Epic has requested an injunction aimed at reinstating the battle royale game on the App Store. The document positions Apple as a “monopolist” entity that “unlawfully maintains” control of all app distribution and in-app payments for the App Store. Epic argues the Fortnite ban (and attempted ban of Unreal Engine) was an act of “retaliation” after Epic Games “ceased complying with one of Apple’s anti-competitive rules.” In short, the court was urged to “not allow Apple to enforce” such “unlawful restrictions.”
Not only did [Apple] remove Fortnite from the App Store, which Epic anticipated, but it also declared it would terminate every one of Epic’s Apple Developer Program accounts and cut off Epic’s access even to software tools that are widely available to the public. This was a clear warning to any other developer that would dare challenge Apple’s monopolies: follow our rules or we will cut you off from a billion iOS consumers—challenge us and we will destroy your business.”
Epic’s latest feud with Apple began when Fortnite began offering players a cheaper means of purchasing in-game items, circumventing the 30% fee put in place by the App Store. Apple responded by removing the battle royale game, citing the platform’s rules against offering in-game purchases independent of the store. Seemingly prepared for this outcome, Epic filed a lawsuit against Apple, called into question the App Store’s “anti-competitive” policies, and illustrated the crusade with a parody short called “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite.” Theatrics have only escalated as Fortnite has hosted an Apple-bashing farewell event for iOS in the last few weeks.
The end of August saw Apple attempt to purge Epic Games from the App Store, including any and all titles that utilize the Unreal Engine. While Fortnite’s removal was ultimately allowed to stand (H/T Prima Games), the court also found that the Unreal Engine was far too important with third-party iOS and Mac developers to be discarded, leaving the tool available for the time being. As the two are set to return to court on September 28th, it appears Epic Games is hoping to get Fortnite back on iOS before the end of the month, especially as the lawsuit isn’t scheduled to be formally heard until Spring 2021.
What do you think? Do you feel that Apple may relent on Fortnite’s ban from the App Store, or do you feel Epic Games’ crusade will eventually prove to be fruitless? 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! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
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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 "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.