1:39pm PT by Trilby Beresford
Epic Games Files Injunction Urging Apple to Restore Developer Account
Epic Games filed a preliminary injunction brief on Friday evening in the ongoing case involving Apple's removal of Fortnite in its App Store, asking the tech giant to restore its developer account and make the free-to-play battle royale game available once again.
The injunction, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, urged the Court "to stop Apple from retaliating against Epic for daring to challenge Apple's misconduct."
Fortnite was removed from Apple's app store in mid-August after Epic Games introduced a new way to buy its virtual currency that circumvents the tech giant's traditional method of receiving certain percentage cuts — typically a 30 percent fee — from in-game purchases.
On Aug. 14, Epic sued Apple, claiming it was operating a monopoly and engaging in unfair, anticompetitive actions. The developer also sued Google, after it removed Fortnite from its own app store.
Epic argued in the brief on Friday that it is "likely to suffer irreparable harm" if the battle royale game remains absent from Apple's App Store. "By removing Fortnite from the App Store, Apple has cleaved millions of users from their friends and family in the Fortnite community, which entirely depends on connectivity," the brief states. "The user outcry has been deafening, showing real harm to the public interest."
The briefing went on to note that, since Fortnite's removal from the app store, daily active users on iOs have declined by over 60 percent.
In May this year, Fortnite surpassed 350 million registered users since its initial launch in 2017. The game has recently collaborated with musical artists including Travis Scott, who drew more than 12 million concurrent attendees to his virtual concert in April.
An Epic Games spokesperson said in a statement, "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."
The statement continued, "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."
View the complete injunction filing below.