Epic Games is trying to convince a California court to reinstate Fortnite on the Apple App Store pending legal proceedings, arguing that doing so is in the “public interest,” court documents show.
If not, the game could suffer “irreparable harm,” the company’s lawyers said in a new lawsuit delivered Friday, 4 September 2020.
Apple versus Epic Games
The gambit comes amid a battle over whether Apple’s tight control over the App Store, and its 30% cut of revenue, counts as monopolistic behavior.
Apple pulled Fortnite from its online mobile apps marketplace on 13 August after Epic released an update that dodges revenue sharing with the iPhone maker.
Last month a US court rejected Epic’s bid to have Fortnite reinstated on the App Store, saying its eviction by Apple was a “self-inflicted wound.” Epic says in the new complaint:
“Over 116 million registered users have accessed Fortnite through iOS — more than any other platform. By eliminating many of these players from Fortnite, and blocking Fortnite’s ability to access over a billion iOS users, Apple is irreparably harming Epic’s chances”.
A 60% drop
Daily active users have dropped by more than 60% since Fortnite was removed, it says, while Epic’s reputation has also taken a hit. The lawsuit adds that “Epic may never see these users again”.
But it did not back down from its fight against Apple, stating that the tech giant “is a monopolist.”
Due to the legal row, Fortnite fans using iPhones or other Apple products no longer have access to the latest game updates, including the new season released at the end of August.
Apple does not allow users of its popular devices to download apps from anywhere but its App Store.
What’s the beef with Epic and Apple?
This follows after Apple blocked Fortnite from the App Store, which now prevents iOS players from updating to new versions. Players will now be left behind on Chapter 2 Season 3 while everyone else moves on.
It basically went down like this: Epic added a new direct payment system for Fortnite, which was in violation of Apple’s App Store policies. Apple then removed Fortnite from the App Store that very same day.
Epic retaliated by launching a campaign against Apple by suing the company and releasing a video titled Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite as a jab at Apple’s famous 1984 ad. And so started the hashtag #FreeFortnite.
Epic also filed a preliminary injunction to prevent Apple from cutting the studio out of Apple’s developer program. Apple said it “won’t make an exception”. Epic will be removed from Apple’s Developer Program on 28 August.
© Agence France-Presse / Additional reporting by Cheryl Kahla
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