Apple claims compensation from Fortnite maker Epic for breach of contract. The company has filed a lawsuit with a court in California. The iPhone maker also wants Epic to be forced to remove its own payment method from its apps, including the popular game.
It is the latest step in the legal battle between the two parties. This weekend Epic asked the court to put Fortnite back in the App Store.
However, for the time being, it doesn’t look like the game will actually come back. A judge said earlier in an interlocutory judgment that Apple will not be obliged to put the app back. Whoever already has the app on his phone can continue to play the game. However, updating is not possible.
The two parties have been at loggerheads since mid-August. The case revolves around the fact that both Apple and Google charge a commission of 30 percent on purchases made in the Fortnite app. Gamemaker Epic has finished this and decided to introduce its own payment system. As a result, the two companies removed the game from their download stores shortly after each other.
Apple writes in the indictment that the lawsuit with Epic “is nothing more than disagreement about money”. According to Apple, Epic portrays itself as a “modern Robin Hood, in reality a multi-billion dollar company that simply doesn’t want to pay anything for the enormous value it derives from the App Store”. Apple says the Fortnite maker has earned over 600 million in the App Store.
The iPhone maker further describes in the indictment how Epic asked for “special treatment” in June so that it could come out of its contract obligations – including using the payment system. Apple refused.
Mail at two o’clock in the morning
Eventually this led to an email at two o’clock in the beginning of August in which Epic top executive Tim Sweeney informed Apple that his company would no longer adhere to Apple’s payment rules. Subsequently, the company activated in its game the possibility for users to make purchases in the app outside the payment system of the App Store.
It would be the start of a major PR battle. The Fortnite maker can count on support from Spotify, among others, which has filed charges against Apple in Europe for unfair competition, and also from Microsoft.