Epic is pushing more of its narrative with its Free Fortnite campaign against Apple. Even then, the trillion-dollar tech giant says Epic’s problems are their own doing.
Last week, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store due to Epic’s new payment system. The system tries to bypass Apple’s cut of all revenues of the apps in-game. The removal pushed Epic to sue and weaponize fans through its Free Fortnite campaign.
Replies from Apple, however, argue that the problems are self-inflicted. The tech giant is positioning itself, saying that Epic “can come back any time.”
Apple fires back with new filing against Epic restraining order
Epic is currently in an uphill battle against Apple and, by extension, Google. They are suing them for the 30% charge they put on all transactions for the App Store. Epic tried to bypass this with their in-app V-bucks purchase system.
According to Apple, this action violates their TOS, which pushed them to remove Fortnite. Epic sued and requested a temporary restraining order against the tech giant. Apple followed suit by revoking all their dev accounts and dev tools.
Apple also filed to oppose the requested TRO by Epic Games. According to the filing, the agreements they have are express in detail with the studio. They also received forewarning that contract termination will come to those who deceive Apple.
“Epic’s agreements with Apple expressly spell out that if an app developer violates the rules of the App Store or the license for development tools—both of which apply and are enforced equally to all developers large and small—Apple will stop working with that developer,” says the filing. “Developers who work to deceive Apple, as Epic has done here, are terminated.”
“So when Epic willfully and knowingly breached its agreements by secretly installing a ‘hotfix’ into its app to bypass Apple’s payment system and App Review Process, it knew full well what would happen and, in so doing, has knowingly and purposefully created the harm to game players and developers it now asks the Court to step in and remedy.”
Apple says Epic can go back to status quo
The Free Fortnite push that Epic is doing seems to be falling on deaf ears in Apple. The idea of removing or reducing Apple’s cut is not something the tech giant will do. The App Store offers needs very little upkeep but provides a ton of returns to Apple.
Apple also notes that any harm to Epic’s business will go away. Epic only needs to remove the “hot mess” it made.
“All of that alleged injury for which Epic improperly seeks emergency relief could disappear tomorrow if Epic cured its breach.” says the filing. “Apple has offered Epic the opportunity to cure, to go back to the status quo before Epic installed its ‘hotfix’ that turned into its hot mess, and to be welcomed back into the App Store.”
“All of this can happen without any intervention of the Court or expenditure of judicial resources. And Epic would be free to pursue its primary lawsuit. But Epic does not want to remedy the harm that it contends requires immediate relief because it has a different goal in mind: it wants the Court to allow it to free ride on Apple’s innovation, intellectual property and user trust.”
Apple's statement is misleading. You can read my email in Apple's filing, which is publicly available. I specifically said in Epic's request to the Apple execs, "We hope that Apple will also make these options equally available to all iOS developers…" https://t.co/yRio08fPSy pic.twitter.com/HsqjApFQeo
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 21, 2020
There is more to the Free Fortnite drama throughout the filing. Apple even fires back allegations that Epic CEO Tim Sweeney is asking for a special deal. Sweeney called this statement “misleading” and publicized the email he sent to the company.
Images courtesy of Epic Games/YouTube Screenshot