In a recent court filing, tech giant Apple has accused Epic Games of “starting a fire and pouring gasoline on it” by breaking Apple’s App Store rules.
The Verge reports that Apple has responded to Epic Games’ recent demand that Apple restore the popular video game Fortnite to the Apple App Store in new legal filings. Apple has claimed that Epic’s problems are “entirely self-inflicted” and that Fortnite can return to the App Store at any time if Epic simply has to remove the custom in-app payment system that resulted in the app being removed in the first place.
In a 37-page opposition brief, Apple stated: “Epic started a fire, and poured gasoline on it, and now asks this Court for emergency assistance in putting it out. Even though Epic can do so itself in an instant by simply adhering to the contractual terms that have profitably governed its relationship with Apple for years.”
Apple further added: “Epic could have avoided any further harm involving both Fortnite and Unreal Engine — with a simple keystroke.” Apple claims that by refusing to do so, Epic is “holding its own customer’s hostage to gain leverage in a business dispute.”
A full court hearing to decide whether or not Apple should be forced to return Fortnite to the App Store is set for September 28. Apple contends throughout the latest court filing that it provides a valuable service by maintaining the App Store and that by circumventing the App Store’s rules, Epic has broken its contract with Apple.
Apple has also suggested that Epic is simply continuing this legal battle in attempts to reinvigorate interest in Fortnite. Apple states in the filing:
For reasons having nothing to do with Epic’s claims against Apple, Fortnite’s popularity is on the wane. By July 2020, interest in Fortnite had decreased by nearly 70% as compared to October 2019. This lawsuit (and the front-page headlines it has generated) appears to be part of a marketing campaign designed to reinvigorate interest in Fortnite.
Apple further claims that Epic’s argument that it has suffered “reputational harm” due to being removed from the App Store is misleading. Apple stated:
“If Epic were truly concerned that it would suffer reputational injury from this dispute, it would not be engaging in these elaborate efforts to publicize it. From all appearances (including the #freefortnite campaign), Epic thinks its conduct here will engender goodwill, boost its reputation, and drive users to Fortnite, not the opposite. That is not harm.”
Read more aboutthe complaint at the Verge here.