Epic Games, the publisher of globally popular Fortnite, lashed out at Apple in its latest court filing as a legal battle between the former close allies intensifies and Epic’s CEO warns his company faces a “death sentence.”
“Apple is a monopolist,” Epic declared in a filing made late Friday at the federal court in California that’s hearing the case revolving around Apple’s ban of Epic from the Apple app store.
“Epic and its customers will suffer irreparable harm if Apple is permitted to continue its retaliation,” Epic added.
In a tweet, Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney called Apple’s decision to ban Epic a “potential death sentence” for his multi-billion-dollar company as well as others.
“In the real world, when one store makes a crappy decision about which products it stocks, it’s not a big deal – you just go to another store and buy it,” Sweeney tweeted.
“Under Apple’s monopoly, a decision not to carry a product is a death sentence to that product and shuts out all its iOS users.”
More than 116 million gamers have played Fortnite on iOS, making it the game’s biggest platform, larger than fortnite v bucks generator its player base on Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PlayStation, PC or Android, CNN noted.
Fans pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman at Fornite’s Panther’s Prowl location
Apple also is fighting Google over similar issues.
But the battle with Apple over Epic’s insistence that players be able to make so-called “in-app” purchases directly through Epic’s system and not have to pay a 30% fee for each to Apple is generating the most media attention over the past month. Apple tried to ban Epic from all aspects of the iOS system but the federal court issued an injunction Aug. 24 blocked Apple’s move to bar developers’ access to Epic’s Unreal game engine – one of the world’s most popular.
However, the ban on Fortnite continues.
Friends have become enemies in this fight.
Apple and Epic have cooperated over the years on a variety of projects and Apple has even featured Epic execs on stage at developers’ events to highlight games as well as Epic’s game engine and related developments.
Judge blocks Apple from banning Epic Games completely from App Store
In the new filing, Epic declared:
“[Apple] controls all app distribution on iOS. It controls all in-app payment processing for digital content on iOS. It unlawfully maintains these two monopolies by explicitly prohibiting any competitive entry in either market. It is highly likely to lose this case.
“On this motion, however, all Epic seeks is for the Court to stop Apple from retaliating against Epic for daring to challenge Apple’s misconduct.
“As set out in more detail in the Complaint, on August 13, 2020, Epic ceased complying with one of Apple’s anti-competitive rules:
“it offered players of its popular game, Fortnite, the option of lower prices on in-app purchases using a competing payment processor. This was a necessary first step on the long road to freeing consumers and developers from Apple’s decade-long monopolistic grip over app
distribution and in-app payment processing on iOS.
“Apple retaliated with ferocity. Not only did it remove Fortnite from the App Store, which Epic anticipated, but it also declared it would terminate every one of Epic’s Apple Developer Program accounts and cut off Epic’s access even to software tools that are widely available to the public.
“This was a clear warning to any other developer that would dare challenge Apple’s monopolies: follow our rules or we will cut you off from a billion iOS consumers—challenge us and we will destroy your business.
“In short, accused of antitrust violations for misusing its power to create and maintain two monopolies, Apple used that same power to try to coerce Epic to abide by its unlawful restrictions. The Court should not allow Apple to enforce these restrictions.”
Apple on Saturday referred CNN Business to an earlier statement that said “the court recommended that Epic comply with the App Store guidelines while their case moves forward, guidelines they’ve followed for the past decade until they created this situation. Epic has refused.”