In the latest development in Epic Games’ battle with Apple, the Fortnite-maker requested that a court require Apple to return the game to the App Store and restore Epic’s developer account.
Lawyers for the company argue that Epic is “likely to suffer irreparable harm” if this is not done.
In a court filing referring to Apple’s decision to revoke Epic’s developer account, the games company said:
“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.”
Other developers have accused Apple of behaving like “gangsters” due to its control of the App Store. Epic filed its complaint Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Fortnite and the App Store
The Epic Games standoff with Cupertino centers on Apple’s 30% commission on in-app purchases. The battle started when Epic began offering a way for users to make in-app purchases via a direct-payment system. This cut Apple out of the equation and violated the App Store guidelines. In the aftermath, Apple banned Fortnite from the App Store. Epic, which had clearly been anticipating this, responded immediately with a civil lawsuit accusing Apple of being a monopoly when it comes to app distribution.
Apple later upped the ante by kicking all of Epic’s games out of the App Store. It also revoked Epic’s developer status — although this does not impact Epic’s Unreal Engine, which is used by hundreds of other app-makers.
Since the standoff started, both sides have taken superficial potshots at one another. Epic organized a tournament where it gave away anti-Apple prizes. Apple, meanwhile, tauntingly promoted Fortnite rivals like PUBG Mobile in the App Store.
Apple vs. Epic Games
Ultimately, as Epic points out in its latest complaint, Apple’s the one that can win a financial war of attrition. Epic — while a big company in gaming — stands to lose a lot more than Apple does.
But the high-profile accusation that Apple is a monopoly could hurt Cupertino as well. Apple is currently being investigated for antitrust complaints, many of which involve the App Store.
Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail here, not least so that iOS gamers can start enjoying the latest season of Fortnite.