Free Fortnite Campaign Continues As Epic Files New Lawsuit Against Apple
The "epic" war between Epic Games and Apple continues as the video game developer has filed another lawsuit again the house Steve Jobs built. Things came to a head when Epic introduced its own direct payment system to bypass Apple's monopoly on in-game purchases and its own cut of 30%.
Unsurprisingly, Apple didn't take this one lying down and decided to give Fortnite the boot from the App Store. More than this, it also stripped Epic of its developer's tools, which could've had a widespread effect on the gaming industry as a whole.
Although Epic's Unreal Engine survived the chop, iPhone owners have been left out in the cold with Fortnite and are unable to play the action-packed Marvel crossover of Chapter 2 Season 4. Fortnite is still available on iPhone, however, players are stuck in Season 3 and are unable to update to the latest version. It seems that neither side is willing to back down, and in a bold move against the tech giant, Epic has filed another lawsuit against Apple as part of its Free Fortnite campaign.
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Posting on Twitter, Epic doubled down on its attack against Apple and cited the company's corporate dominance of the market. Epic has asked for a preliminary injunction that would see Fortnite reinstated to the App Store. The developer claimed it is "likely to suffer irreparable harm" unless a court grants the injunction, and added that "the balance of harms tips sharply in Epic’s favor".
In a statement, Epic explained, "Today we ask the Court to stop Apple from retaliating against Epic for daring to challenge Apple’s misconduct while our antitrust case proceeds. Apple is a monopolist and standing up to them is a necessary step to free consumers and developers from the unlawful restrictions Apple has imposed over app distribution and in-app payment processing on iOS.
"For too long, developers have not spoken out because they fear Apple’s retaliation. The company’s recent actions show that if you challenge Apple’s monopoly, Apple will attempt to destroy your business. We are committed to speaking up and securing lower cost, competitive access for all".
The 182-page filing is as in-depth as they come and includes Epic CEO Tim Sweeney’s emails to Apple. There's already been plenty of support for Epic in this game of David and Goliath. Among those who are part of the Free Fortnite campaign are Microsoft boss Phil Spencer, who threw his weight behind Epic. Added to this, there are a number of indie developers who are patiently waiting at the sidelines to see who will come out on top.
What happens next is unclear, however, with a court already ruling Apple couldn't kick the Unreal Engine, Epic might stand a chance. Apple threw down the gauntlet and said it would work with Epic to resolve the issues.
Epic refused to do so and said pulling its payment system would "collude with Apple to maintain their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS". It might sound like a simple solution of Epic backing down and returning to the ways of old, but if the latest filing is anything to go by, a resolution could be a way off yet. Will we ever free Fortnite? Watch this space.
Images via Epic Games