The maker of “Fortnite” has asked a California judge for the second time to reinstate its popular video game to Apple Inc.’s devices.
The Wall Street Journal reports Epic Games Inc. filed a motion Saturday (Sept. 5) for a preliminary injunction against the Cupertino, California-based technology giant, restating allegations it made last month when it accused Apple of antitrust violations when it removed “Fortnite” from the App Store. Google has also removed the game from Google Play.
The two tech companies took the action after Epic introduced an in-game payment system to avoid the 30 percent fee certain developers must pay the companies for in-app purchases.
In a court filing, Epic said of its 350 million registered Fortnite players, 116 million have accessed the survival-shooter game through Apple’s iOS operating system, the WSJ reported. Of those players, Epic said 63 percent only play “Fortnite” this way.
“Apple has driven a stake in the ‘Fortnite’ community,” Epic said in its filing.
Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers for the Northern District of California ruled Apple can’t block the game maker from accessing Unreal Engine tools, a popular game engine developed by Epic that is used to build 3-D games on Apple platforms. At the same time, the court denied the North Carolina game maker’s motion to restore its Fortnite game to the App Store.
Florian Mueller, an independent analyst in Munich focused on antitrust issues, told the newspaper that the judge is not expected to rule in Epic's favor on its latest request.
“Epic’s renewed push for the same thing as last month will most likely result in the same mixed ruling again,” Mueller told the newspaper.
That decision and Epic's new filing over the weekend is in advance of a hearing scheduled for Sept. 28 on its broader case of whether Apple’s methods of operating the App Store are anti-competitive.
Apple and Google insist the commission fees are necessary because of the services the stores provide, including security and user privacy. Apple has also said its 30 percent commission is not unusual and matches the same amount most other app marketplaces charge.
The fight began in August when Epic said Apple planned to terminate its account with the tech giant's mega-popular App Store. Epic alleged the action was in retaliation for the lawsuit it filed against the tech giant.
“The continued loss of ‘Fortnite’ as a gathering place for users on all platforms will lead Epic’s customers to defect,” Epic said in its filing Friday.