Epic Games has once again attempted to restore its popular Fortnite game to the Apple App Store, with a fresh legal challenge.
Epic last Friday filed a new legal challenge in the US District Court of Northern California seeking another preliminary injunction against Apple, which had removed the game from its App Store.
Epic Games revealed in its filing that usage of Fortnite on iOS platforms had plummeted by more than 60 percent since Apple remove the game off the App Store.
It all began on 13 August when Epic Games issued an update for Fortnite that allowed players to purchase in-game currency directly from Epic, bypassing Apple and Google’s payment systems and the 30 percent commission they charge.
Apple and Google then retaliated and removed Fortnite from their respective App Stores, prompting Epic to file a lawsuit against Apple.
But in addition to removing Fortnite, Apple also said it would terminate all of Epic Games’ developer accounts and cut it off from its development tools starting 28 August.
That was going to be an even bigger problem for Epic, because despite developing its own gaming titles, it also makes tools for other game developers such as the Unreal Engine.
Epic then filed an emergency injunction to stop Apple from revoking iOS and macOS support for its Unreal Engine.
Late last month a US court granted part of the injunction and stopped Apple from removing its Unreal Engine from the Apple developer program.
However, the Judge also ruled that Apple won’t be required to make Fortnite available on its App Store.
And this decision is hurting Epic, as game usage on iOS platforms has plummeted, hence the fresh appeal.
“Apple’s actions will wreak havoc on the existing Fortnite community,” Epic alleged in its filing. “Daily active Fortnite users on iOS have already declined by more than 60 percent since Apple began its retaliatory campaign through September 2, 2020.”
The filing also revealed that iOS users make up the largest section of “Fortnite” players overall.
Out of 350 million registered users, more than 116 million are iOS users.
And Epic is worried it could lose these iOS customers for good.
“And removal already has resulted in a loss of goodwill and irreparable damage to Epic’s reputation,” said the firm. “The continued loss of Fortnite as a gathering place for users on all platforms will lead Epic’s customers to defect. Epic may never see these users again.”
The legal battle continues.
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