Just before midnight on Friday before Labor Day weekend, Epic Games hit the button for its next legal action against Apple’s ban on hugely popular Fortnite.
There was no doubt that Epic would seek a preliminary injunction against Apple in an attempt to force the iPhone maker to bring Fortnite back to the App Store – hearings were already scheduled for September 28. But now you can read the company’s full argument (here’s a PDF, it’s also embedded below) and decide if you think Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is likely to be affected.
You may recall that Judge Rogers was already unwilling to issue a temporary restraining order against Apple to protect Epic̵
But in the new filing, Epic argues that more than its reputation has been damaged: “Daily active users on iOS have dropped by more than 60% since Fortnite’s removal from the App Store,” Epic claims. (It was measured until September 2, in case you are curious; at that time Fortnite had effectively split into two different games.)
Epic says that iOS is the biggest platform for Fortnitealso: 116 million registered users, or almost a third of the 350 million registered users, says Epic Fortnite has attracted total. It also claims 63 percent of Fortnite users on iOS access to Fortnite on iOS alone, and that it’s the only way for many people to play the game.
Epic says it is concerned that it “may never see these users again” (citing a 60 percent decline); it is Fortnite the community of players has been torn apart; and that some of its non-Fortnite customers have also had security breaches. As we reported last week, some of Epic’s other games are no longer available for download, and Epic says it is Shadow Complex Remastered has been removed from the Mac App Store even after Apple closed Epic’s developer account.
Epic also claims that Apple threatens to deny any attempt to apply for a new developer account “for at least one year”, citing a communication from Apple itself, arguing that the damage it will endure by being “denied the opportunity to access and with a single new user among the one billion plus iOS users in the next year ”, damage is worth creating a preliminary injunction for.
There is much more to read throughout the document. The first movement is 38 pages long, not to mention the additions that Epic addressed.
Apple referred us to its previous statements, the most recent of which is this:
We are disappointed that we have had to close the Epic Games account in the App Store. We have been working with the team at Epic Games for many years with the launches and releases. 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. Epic has refused. Instead, they repeatedly send 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.
We’ll see what happens on 28 September.
Updated September 5, 11:55 AM ET: Added Apple’s statement.