Epic Games’ lawsuit against Apple is less about App Store rules and more about reviving “flagging interest in Fortnite,” according to a court document filed Thursday by Cupertino’s lawyers.
In a court filing with the US District Court on Thursday, Apple argues that Epic just wants “to free-ride on Apple’s innovation” by being allowed in the App Store without having to pay Apple a cut of earnings.
“Apple is among the most innovative, competitive, dynamic, and creative companies in the United States, and millions of people benefit from its products and services,” Apple said in its filing. “Those products and services are the result of billions of dollars of investment, in addition to substantial time and thought, and represent Apple’s intellectual property.”
Epic reportedly refers to its strategy as “Project Liberty,” which has included not just a lawsuit against Apple, but various PR stunts to publicize its battle against Cupertino. Apple thinks that these have just been ploys to try and garner more attention for Fortnite.
“Epic is asking this Court to force alternative terms on Apple so that Epic can make more money,” Apple noted in its filing. “But Epic’s request would harm other developers and consumers, in addition to imposing unprecedented obligations on Apple to open its proprietary systems and engineering to third parties.”
Epic Games vs. Apple
Apple’s battle with Epic kicked off last August when Epic introduced a means by which Fortnite players could skip the App Store to buy in-app purchases. This deprived Apple of its 30% commission. Apple rapidly responded by opting to boot Fortnite from the App Store. Epic then hit back with a lawsuit taking aim at Apple for monopolistic behavior. The two companies have been fighting back and forth since then.
Epic positions itself as fighting for the good of developers by challenging Apple’s overreach. Apple has almost argued it’s about one thing: Cold, hard cash. In a court filing made in September, Apple argued that, “Epic’s lawsuit is nothing more than a basic disagreement over money.”
The two companies will go to court next month.