Apple vs Epic Games: Legal Battle Persists As Apple Seeks Damages

It’s undeniable the impact Fortnite has had on the gaming community and industry and it’s also undeniable the impact Apple has had when it comes to technology in our everyday lives. So the two of them together should amount to some remarkable things.

In April of this year, Epic Games has even thanked Apple publicly for their encouragement and marketing of Fortnite events on their platform.

However, something happened along the way that left a bitter taste in the mouths of Apple execs. Apple is claiming a breach of contract when it comes to Fortnite developer Epic Games and even went as far as removing Fortnite from the App Store.

How did the Apple vs Epic battle begin?

In case you missed it, here is a timeline of the events and how it came to this point:

  • August 13th: Epic Games published a version of Fortnite to the Apple App Store that included a method for users to pay for in-game content without giving Apple its usual 30% cut. Apple removed the app from the App Store, and Epic Games sued Apple later in the day.
  • August 28: Apple prevents Epic Games from creating new apps or updating Fortnite on Apple’s platforms by suspending the company’s developer account.
  • September 8: Apple files a counter claim against Epic Games, alleging that the gaming company breached its contract with Apple and is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

Steve Jobs said it best, “Oh yeah, there’s one more thing.” Not only is Apple seeking restitution of all the money Fortnite has collected through its payment system, a percentage of the reportedly over $600 million Epic Games has earned from the App store, but Apple is also seeking a lasting ban for that external payment mechanism in all apps, including Fortnite.

Shortly after 2:00 a.m. on August 13, 2020, the morning on which Epic would activate its hidden commission-theft functionality, Mr. Sweeney (an Epic Games exec) again emailed Apple executives, declaring that ‘Epic will no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions.’”

Apple even went as far as claiming, “Epic Games 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.”

What happens next?

It does sounds like things could get messy as Apple’s response evokes a feeling of shadiness and betrayal from Epic Games, ″Unbeknownst to Apple, Epic had been busy enlisting a legion of lawyers, publicists, and technicians to orchestrate a sneak assault on the App Store.

But before you write off Epic Games and Fortnite in this industry battle royale, they don’t seem too afraid of the Tech behemoth that is Apple. The gaming company argued that Apple is stifling free-market competition and has asked for an initial ruling that would restore Fortnite back to the App Store and reinstate its developer account.

We will continue to follow the Apple vs. Epic legal battle as more information is revealed. A hearing is currently scheduled for late September, although the dates could change. Stay tuned.

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