After a strenuous stance, Epic has filed for a preliminary injunction in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The filing asks the court to allow its popular gaming app, Fortnite back on iOS App Store, and restore the developer account related to Fortnite as well.
The disagreement between Apple and Epic Games over App Store 30% commission rate turned into a legal battle when the developer bypassed the iPhone maker and released a controversial update on the Fortnite iOS app which allowed players to opt-out of paying Apple by choosing the new Epic direct payment method.
Epic Soughts Preliminary Injunction to save Fortnite
Now that Apple has only removed the Fortnite game from the App Store and has also terminated the game’s developer account, Epic Games is once again at the door of the court to make the Cupertino tech company take back its decision.
In the filling, Epic states that in the absence of a preliminary injunction Fortnite is “likely to suffer irreparable harm” and in this situation “the balance of harm tips sharply in Epic’s favor”. Calling Apple a “monopolist” who is “explicitly prohibiting any competitive entry”, the developer deems the harsh action against its popular games as a
“This was a clear warning to any other developer that would dare challenge Apple’s monopolies: follow our rules or we will cut you off from a billion iOS consumers – challenge us and we will destroy your business.”
Last week on August 24, a district court judge denied the developer’s motion against Apple and ruled that,
“The Court finds that with respect to Epic Games’ motion as to its games, including Fortnite, Epic Games has not yet demonstrated irreparable harm. The current predicament appears of its own making,” adding that Epic “strategically chose to breach its agreements with Apple.”
Certainly, during the period of a temporary restraining order, the status quo in this regard should be maintained.”
The court also ordered Apple to not terminate the Unreal Engine developer account because that will affect thrid party developers and gamers and that the two companies should resolve the matter amicably that “their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders.”
Apple accepted the court’s ruling and showed the willingness to welcome Fortnite back on the App Store after Epic removes the direct payment update. However, the Fortnite’s developer responded with the harsh decision to not remove the conflictual update and to not to release Fortnite’s new season on iOS.
Maybe the developer’s current “irreparable” damage claim is to get a favorable ruling only as the first temporary order did not find any reason to order Apple to reinstate the game back on its digital ecosystem. Will Epic be granted a preliminary injunction, it is difficult to predict. In the meanwhile, the developer has launched a strong social media campaign against Apple’s 30% commission rate.