Apple Seeks Damages Against ‘Fortnite’ Developer Epic Games for Breach of Contract

Tim Cook CEO of Apple laughing
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Tech giant Apple is now seeking damages against Epic Games, the developers behind the wildly popular game Fortnite, which sued Apple alleging that the company took part in monopolistic practices in relation to its App Store.

CNBC reports that tech giant Apple has doubled down in its fight against Epic Games, the creator of the popular Fortnite video game, over Apple’s App Store “tax” for developers. On Tuesday, Apple filed a response and counterclaim to Epic alleging that the company breached its contract with Apple and is now seeking unspecified damages.

Apple said in a filing with the District Court for the Northern District of California: ″Epic’s lawsuit is nothing more than a basic disagreement over money. Although Epic portrays itself as a modern corporate Robin Hood, in reality it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing for the tremendous value it derives from the App Store.”

The legal dispute began on August 13 when Epic Games published a version of Fortnite to the Apple App Store which featured an alternate payment system to Apple’s Apple Pay system which takes a 30 percent cut of all payments made through iOS apps. Apple removed the game from its App Store and Epic Games sued Apple later that day.

In response, Apple suspended Epic Games’ developer account, preventing the company from creating new apps or updating Fortnite on Apple’s platforms. Apple attempted to block Epic’s Unreal Engine from its platforms but a judge recently ruled that doing so would be unfair and would affect developers using the Unreal Engine that have no link to the lawsuit.

Apple is now claiming that Epic is liable for breach of contract and other counts, seeking restitution of all money Fortnite collected via its payment system and seeking a permanent injunction banning any external payment mechanism in all apps. Apple’s response alleges that the site was blindsided by the Epic lawsuit and noted that Epic executives “recognized and thanked Apple for its support and promotion of Fortnite events” as recently as April 2020.

″Unbeknownst to Apple, Epic had been busy enlisting a legion of lawyers, publicists, and technicians to orchestrate a sneak assault on the App Store. Shortly after 2:00 a.m. on August 13, 2020, the morning on which Epic would activate its hidden commission-theft functionality, Mr. Sweeney again emailed Apple executives, declaring that ‘Epic will no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions.’”

Apple further added:

Although Epic portrays itself as a modern corporate Robin Hood, in reality it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing for the tremendous value it derives from the ‌App Store‌. Epic’s demands for special treatment and cries of “retaliation” cannot be reconciled with its flagrant breach of contract and its own business practices, as it rakes in billions by taking commissions on game developers’ sales and charging consumers up to $99.99 for bundles of “V-Bucks.”

For years, Epic took advantage of everything the ‌App Store‌ had to offer. It availed itself of the tools, technology, software, marketing opportunities, and customer reach that Apple provided so that it could bring games like Infinity Blade and Fortnite to Apple customers all over the world. It enjoyed the tremendous resources that Apple pours into its ‌App Store‌ to constantly innovate and create new opportunities for developers and experiences for customers, as well as to review and approve every app, keeping the ‌App Store‌ safe and secure for customers and developers alike.

Apple claimed in the filing that Epic Games has earned over $600 million from Apple’s App Store. Read more at CNBC here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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