Epic Games have filed an injunction demanding Apple to put the Fortnite app back on the Apple Store following a reported decline in 60% of iOS players.
Epic Games first made headlines in August after introducing direct payment—a method of buying V-Bucks through Fortnite’s in-game store. This purchase method eliminates an additional 30% charge that would have been processed through traditional purchase methods such as the Google Play Store and the Apple Play Store.
The option received praise as it meant that players would save more money playing the game they enjoy. However, to tech giants like Apple and Android, it meant a cut in their wallets, so they both decided to boot off Epic Games’ mobile version of Fortnite off their respective stores, leading to what has become a messy lawsuit.
The most recent chapter of this saga unfolded on September 4, when Epic Games filed a preliminary injunction to the court, demanding Apple to restore Fortnite on the Apple Store.
Epic Games proceeded to call Apple’s actions a part of “retaliation” against the American video game publisher. Filed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the developers stated that its “likely to suffer irreparable harm” because of the removal of its game from the Apple Store and called the tech giant a “monopolist.”
“Standing up to [Apple] 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.”
Additionally, Epic said that it “may never see these users again” after receiving a 60% decline in iOS players. Further calling Apple’s decision harmful towards Fortnite players and customers. the company claims that over 210 million players can’t play Fortnite on Apple devices anymore and that those devices were the only way for these users to access the battle royale.
This is not the first time that Epic have tried to get Fortnite reinstated in the App Store; their first attempt, which came near the start of Season 4, was blocked by the court, although the judge did rule that Apple had to reinstate Epic’s Unreal Engine after the tech giants had tried to revoke the developer’s iOS and Mac dev access.
The controversy also led to the community-based event called #FreeFortnite, which included a massive in-game spectacle and tournament themed around the controversy.
It’s uncertain whether Epic Games’ latest attempt at getting Fortnite back on the App Store will succeed this time around. The court is expected to issue its ruling on September 28, so we’ll just have to wait until then to find out the fate of the battle royale’s mobile version.