Apple on Friday asked a judge to deny Epic Games’ request for a court order forcing Apple to return Fortnite to the App Store. In a filing, the iPhone-maker said Epic Games brought the ban on itself by its own actions.
The court’s decision will determine whether this wildly popular game will be available for iPhone and iPad users while a potentially lengthy court battle between Apple and Epic Games goes on.
Apple accuses Epic Games of a ‘unilateral breach of its agreements’
On Aug. 13, Apple kicked Fortnite from the App Store after Epic Games added a direct payments system for in-app purchases. This is a violation of App Store guidelines.
After Cupertino booted Fortnite from the App Store last week, the game’s developer immediately filed a lawsuit that accuses Apple of being a monopoly. And it followed that on Aug. 17 with a request for a preliminary injunction that blocks Apple from “removing, de-listing, refusing to list or otherwise making unavailable the app Fortnite, including any update thereof.”
Apple responded to the court on Friday with a multipoint argument why it should be allowed to continue keeping this game out of the iPhone App Store. It says, “Epic’s unilateral breach of its agreements threatens Apple’s entire App Store ecosystem as a safe, secure, reliable and trusted place for consumers.”
Apple’s lawyers likened circumventing the App Store’s in-app purchase system to enabling thievery.
“Without IAP, Apple would be unable from a technical perspective to charge app developers a commission on in-app sales,” according to Friday’s filing. “If developers can avoid the digital checkout, it is the same as if a customer leaves an Apple retail store without paying for shoplifted products: Apple does not get paid.”
Apple’s court document also accuses Epic Games of being untrustworthy. “Epic has revealed that it is willing to and can circumvent Apple’s procedures in Fortnite by smuggling a hidden feature into its last update,” Apple’s lawyers argued.
The filing says the court shouldn’t reward the game-maker for violating its agreement with Apple. The iPhone-maker also argues that where a video game is available for sale isn’t an important enough matter to justify “emergency injunctive relief.”
Now, it’s up to a U.S. District Court judge to make the decision.
Apple v. Epic: He said, she said
Friday’s filing is the latest in an ongoing tit-for-tat argument between these two companies. Epic Games has tried to stake out a moral high ground, arguing that it wants to break Apple’s hold on the App Store to benefit all developers.
But in its court filing on Friday, Apple alleges that Epic first tried to negotiate a secret, special deal just for Fortnite. Only when Apple refused did the game developer launch its public campaign against the App Store.
Source: CourtListener (.pdf)