The legal battle between Apple and Epic Games continued Wednesday as Apple responded to Epic Games request for a preliminary injunction (which, if successful, would force Apple to restore Fortnite to the App Store).
Using scathing language, Apple’s lawyers argued that the gaming company couldn’t prove any lasting injury from the app-store ban, arguing that “Epic started a fire, and poured gasoline on it, and now asks this court for emergency assistance in putting it out,” adding that Epic can fix the problem “by simply adhering to the contractual terms that have profitably governed its relationship with Apple for years”.
Epic first sued Apple on Aug. 13. The judge in the case has already proven unwilling to issue a temporary restraining order against Apple because Epic had, in a major way, brought the app store ban for “Fortnite” on itself. But in a second, more forceful attempt, Epic has beefed up its arguments, claiming that the ban has resulted in not only reputational damage, but lasting economic harm.
First of all, daily active users on Apple’s iOS operating system are down “over 60%” since the game was removed from the app store. The operating system is the biggest platform for Fortnite, with 116 million registered users, or nearly 1/3rd of the 350 million registered users Epic says Fortnite has attracted in total. It also claims 63% of Fortnite users on iOS access Fortnite only on iOS.
Epic claims it “may never see these users again”, due to Apple’s ban, and that the game’s community has been torn apart. Epic has also complained Apple is threatening to delay Epic’s application for a new developer account for “at least a year”.
After the battle between Apple and Epic Games exploded last month, Epic, via “Fortnite”, its immensely popular online shoot-em-up game, launched a campaign against Apple including a #FreeFortnite hashtag, and a tournament in which players could win prizes with anti-Apple messages. It annonced the effort with a video parodying Apple’s infamous “1984” ad bashing Microsoft.
It also released a video parodying Apple’s famous “1984” ad.
Apple has responded forcefully, and thus far, appears to be holding off Epics’ attempt.
However, Apple complained that Epic Games’ push to turn more developers against Apple was only launched for the purposes of publicity, and to try and capitalize on the prevailing public mood. The company’s attempt to generate buzz is already failing, Apple argued.
Apple argued that Epic was a “saboteur”, and that Apple’s ban wasn’t anticompetitive because Fortnite can still be played using other operating systems. “there is nothing anticompetitive about charging others to use one’s service,” Apple concluded.