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Epic asks court to force Fortnite back to iOS App Store

The artist's perception of Epic evades harm from Apple's decisions (and perhaps his own).
Enlarge / The artist’s perception of Epic evades harm from Apple’s decisions (and perhaps his own).

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7;s continued legal battle with Apple builds on an upcoming September 28 hearing, Epic formally requests a temporary injunction to enforce Fortnite back to the iOS App Store.

In a new motion filed in court late Friday night, Epic calls Apple a “monopolist” who “retaliated with violence” to Epics “to dare to challenge Apple’s misdeed.” Epic cites a precedent for suggesting that it should not face such retaliation for fighting “illegal contract terms” in Apple’s developer agreements.

More specifically, Epic accuses Apple of using its monopoly on iOS app distribution (via the App Store) “to force developers to use [Apple’s in-app purchasing platform]. “

“Epic is a potential direct competitor to Apple in the relevant markets, ready to offer competitive app distribution and competitive payment processing on iOS,” the company writes. To be clear, Epic does not seek to force Apple to offer distribution and processing services for free, nor does Epic seek to enjoy Apple’s services without paying for them. What Epic wants is the freedom not to use Apple’s App Store or IAP, and instead of using and offering competing services. “

Epic uses its own short offer at the end of August of “Epic Direct Payments” in the iOS version of Fortnite as proof of “consumer demand” for such a payment processing competition – 53.4 percent of iOS users chose the direct payment option over a two-week period, writes Epic. The fact that the option for direct payment came with a 20 percent discount in price when it came to Apple’s payment processing, has of course played into that result.

“Epic may never see these users again …”

Epic also goes on to argue that it is already suffering irreparable damage from Apple’s decision to prevent Fortnite from the App Store. While players previously downloaded Fortnite on iOS can still play it, that version can no longer be updated. Thus, iOS players can not connect to players on other platforms running the latest version of the game, a situation that has “split millions of users from their friends and family in Fortnite society, which completely depends on connection, »writes Epic.

“People prefer it Fortnite over other games partly because Fortnite facilitates a community. When millions of players are forced to leave society overnight, Fortnite in itself becomes less attractive, not only for the players who now can not join, but also for all other players. “

Daily Fortnite use of iOS has fallen 60 percent as a result of Apple’s decision, says Epic, while the 63 percent of iOS players who do not play on other platforms have been stranded.

Meanwhile, Fortnite can not attract new users on iOS as the case goes, the time that the company says they can not come back. “The continued loss of Fortnite as a gathering place for users on all platforms will lead Epic’s customers to shortcomings, “the company writes. Epic can never see these users again … Damage like this to Epic’s flagship app can not be calculated in compensation. “

If Apple ultimately wins the case, Epic argues that ordinary financial damages can be used to replace the iOS manufacturer’s damage.

In a ruling at the end of last month, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers largely rejected similar arguments that Epic put forward to seek a restraining order against Apple regarding Fortnite development on iOS. There was no “irreparable damage” to Epic, Rogers wrote, because “the current situation seems to be [Epic’s] own production. ”

“Your client created this situation,” Rogers told Epic’s lawyers in a hearing in August. “Your client does not come to this action with clean hands … in my view you can not have irreparable damage when you create the damage yourself.”

“The court advised Epic to follow the App Store guidelines as their case progresses, guidelines they have followed for the past decade until they created this situation,” Apple said in a statement earlier this month. “Epic has refused. Instead of” repeatedly submit Fortnite updates designed to violate the App Store policy. “

“This is not fair to all other developers in the App Store and puts customers in the middle of the battle. We hope we can work together again in the future, but unfortunately it is not possible today.”

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