‘Duplicitous conduct’ earns Fortnite-maker Epic Games extended App Store ban

‘Duplicitous conduct’ earns Fortnite extended App Store ban

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Epic Games v. Apple is just getting started
If you thought the war between Apple and epic Games was over, think again.
Graphic: Epic Games/Cult of Mac

The first phase of the legal war between Apple and Epic Games is over, and a Federal court agreed with the game developer in some of the major points in their lawsuit. But Apple refuses to reinstate Fortnite and other Epic titles to its App Store during the appeals process.

The iPhone maker says this is the result of “Epic’s duplicitous conduct” leading to the lawsuit.

Epic Games and Fortnite still out of the App Store

Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games, revealed Apple’s decision on Twitter. He included an email from Mark A. Perry, a lawyer representing Apple, with the specific reasons.

In it, Perry points out that “Epic committed an intentional breach of contract, and breach of trust, by concealing code from Apple and making related misrepresentations an omissions.” He’s referring to Epic secretly adding a direct payments system for in-app purchases to Fortnite, which it knew was against Apple’s rules. This caused Apple to kick the developer out of the App Store in 2020. And Epic to file a lawsuit in protest.

Since the judge’s ruling in that lawsuit requires Apple to permit developers to steer users to their own direct payments systems for purchases, Epic asked for its developer account back.

Calling Epic’s earlier actions “duplicitous,” Perry says Apple will resist returning Fortnite and other games to the App Store as long a it can. “Apple has exercised its discretion not to reinstate Epic’s developer program account at this time,” the lawyer wrote. “Furthermore, Apple will not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgment becomes final and nonappealable.”

Sweeney responded by saying, “Apple informed Epic that Fortnite will be blacklisted from the Apple ecosystem until the exhaustion of all court appeals, which could be as long as a 5-year process.”

Epic already appealed the court’s decision.  Apple is expected to.