- Epic Games recently filed for a preliminary injunction which, if granted, would force Apple to keep Fortnite in the App Store.
- Apple fired Fortnite by the App Store three weeks ago after Epic allowed users to pay the company directly for in-app transactions.
- Since Fortnite has been outside the App Store, Epic writes that the number of daily active users on iOS has fallen by more than 60%.
Epic Games may have bitten more than they can chew when they decided to go toe-to-toe with Apple because of the App Store guidelines. Although Epic was more than eager to participate in a very public battle with Apple after it gave Fortnite players a direct payment option for microtransactions ̵
With Epic openly appealing to Apple’s App Store rules, it came as no surprise to anyone when Apple launched Fortnite from the App Store. However, Apple took things a step further when they decided to close Epic Games’ developer account altogether. And in the midst of all this saga, Epic tried unsuccessfully to obtain a temporary restraining order against Apple that would have kept Fortnite in the App Store until a final decision was reached.
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers denied the restraining order and said that any damage caused to Epic Games was the direct result of the company’s own conduct.
The court finds it with respect to Epic Games’ movement about the games, including Fortnite, Epic Games has not yet shown irreparable damage. The current situation seems to be unique.
Apple has on several occasions emphasized that it is more than welcome Fortnite back to the App Store provided that Epic Games submits a copy that prevents users from bypassing Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism.
Now comes the word via Reuters that Epic Games recently requested a preliminary injunction that would force Apple to keep Fortnite in the App Store. In its filing, Epic argues that keeping the game out of the App Store while the case goes through the legal system will cause the company “irreparable damage.” Of course, the irony of Epic, which claims that it does not look for special treatment, while at the same time demanding that Apple give it an advantage no other developers get, is, to put it mildly, rich.
As part of the archiving, Epic describes some of the damage it has already been subjected to:
Fortnite is more than just a game. It is an intense social community whose value to users largely depends on the ability to connect with other users. Epic has built a community that people trust. By removing Fortnite from the App Store, Apple has split millions of users from its friends and family in the Fortnite community, which depends entirely on connectivity. The users’ screams have been deafening, and show real damage to the public interest.
Daily active users on iOS have dropped by over 60% since Fortnite’s removal from the App Store. And removal has already resulted in the loss of goodwill and irreparable damage to Epic’s reputation. The continued loss of Fortnite as a gathering place for users on all platforms will lead to Epic’s customers becoming defective. Epic will never see these users again. It will also be denied the opportunity to access yet another new user among the one billion plus iOS users in the next year. The removal of Fortnite from iOS also hinders a major epic initiative – developing Fortnite into a full-fledged “metaverse”, a multifunctional, persistent, interactive virtual space. Damage like this on Epic’s flagship app cannot be calculated in compensation.
If anything is deafening, it’s the hypocrisy that comes from Epic Games. The company apologizes for the impact Fortnite removal has had on users while completely ignoring that the current situation is entirely its own doing. And again, Epic Games could have easily brought this case against Apple without revealing and disregarding long-standing App Store policies. Epic Games will obviously want its cake and eat it too, and it’s hard to imagine that the company’s archives will persuade the court even a little bit.
In addition, and others have pointed out, Epic’s argument here seems to highlight the benefits Apple’s App Store provides.
wait … isn’t Epic (Fortnite) just proof of how much value Apple has given them?
– 1/3 of Fortnite’s 350 million users play Fornite on iOS.
– 63% of Fortnite users on iOS access Fortnite * only * on iOShttps: //t.co/o2SELpAaVj pic.twitter.com/a55i5lQe1E
– Blake Robbins (@blakeir) September 5, 2020
As a quick point of interest, Epic’s archive notes that it has approximately 350 million users across all gaming platforms. To that point, it is worth noting that Epic complains about 30% cuts Google and Apple take, but has not said anything about the 30% cuts Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony take.