Apple

Apple: Fortnite Can Return But Without In-App Payment System

In the ongoing conflict between Apple and Epic Games, Apple's newest filing accuses Epic of sabotaging itself.

The Verge reported that the court documents from Apple said Epic "started a fire, and poured gasoline on it, and now asks this Court for emergency assistance in putting it out" when it broke Apple's rules and made an in-game payment option for the Fortnite game. That had the effect of undercutting Apple's profits.

Apple said Fortnite would be allowed back in the App Store as soon as Epic removed the aforementioned in-game payment method.

Apple said Epic could "do so itself in an instant by simply adhering to the contractual terms that have profitably governed its relationship with Apple for years," the document read. Apple said Epic could have avoided any harm with "a simple keystroke" and is now "holding its own customers hostage to gain leverage in a business dispute."

The court documents also allege that Epic's lawsuit and other actions have all been a publicity stunt to reignite some passion in Fortnite, the popularity of which is "on the wane," the documents read.

"By July 2020, interest in Fortnite had decreased by nearly 70 percent as compared to October 2019," the document said, as reported by The Verge. "This lawsuit (and the front-page headlines it has generated) appears to be part of a marketing campaign designed to reinvigorate interest in Fortnite."

Epic Games sued Apple immediately after Fortnite was removed from the App Store. Earlier this month, Apple countersued, with its main argument being that Epic breached its contract by breaking the rules for payments. Apple's lawsuit is seeking a permanent order to bar Epic's external payment systems in all applications.

Recently, Fortnite players have been able to log into the game via Apple again after a two-week ban, as a result of Epic's indefinite extension for players to do so.

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