Numerous companies in the past have spoken out against Apple’s anti-competitive practices. Recently, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook was grilled by the congressional lawmakers in the antitrust meeting for the same. Cook dismissed all the questions directed at the App Store’s policies, saying that we do not endorse such practices. However, it doesn’t seem to be the case here. On August 13, Epic Games filed a civil antitrust lawsuit following Apple’s removal of Fortnite from the App Store.
Recently, the video giant Epic Games launched a campaign against Apple by suing the company and releasing a Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite video (cheekily dubbed the “Tart Tycoon”) mocking Apple’s famous 1984 ad and promoting the hashtag #FreeFortnite. The company voiced its displeasure by tweeting directly at Apple with the #FreeFortnite hashtag. With this campaign, Epic Games announced a Fortnite tournament where players can compete to win anti-Apple prizes. The tournament is to take place on August 23, in an effort to rally gamers around its combat against Apple. On August 21, Epic also released assets parodying Apple’s “Think Different” ad campaign for players to make their anti-Apple gear.
All of your friends. Fabulous prizes. And one bad apple. We’re droppin the #FreeFortnite Cup on August 23.
Check out our blog for full info: https://t.co/BFpiMQoWID
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) August 21, 2020
Players who compete in the tournament have the opportunity to win an in-game skin of the evil-looking apple featured in Epic’s “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite” video, a “Free Fortnite” hat, and even non-iOS gaming hardware, including an Alienware laptop, a Galaxy Tab S7, OnePlus 8 smartphone, a PlayStation 4 Pro, an Xbox One X, or a Nintendo Switch.
Epic also reminded iOS users that they could not play the next season of Fortnite, which is scheduled to begin on August 27. Epic suggested iOS players consider migrating to other platforms where Fortnite is available before the next season commences.
Apple’s Take On The Epic’s Retaliation
The two companies are back and forth fighting over App Store’s payment system, under which Apple takes a 30% cut of revenues from in-app purchases. Last week Epic Games released a new direct payment option inside the iPhone Fortnite app. It was devised to bypass the App Store’s payment system. Apple answered by removing Fortnite from the App Store.
Earlier this week, Epic filed a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop Apple from cutting the studio out of Apple’s developer program. However, Apple said it “won’t make an exception” for Epic. Today Apple filed its opposition to the TRO request, saying that Epic’s problems are of its own making and that they would go away immediately if Epic would simply roll back the violating update.
According to the filing, Epic’s agreements with Apple expressly spell out that if an app developer violates the rules of the App Store or the license for development tools, Apple will stop working with that developer. Apple has also mentioned that the rules are enforced equally to all developers, large and small. Developers who work to circumvent Apple’s policies, as Epic has done here, are terminated.
“So when Epic willfully and knowingly breached its agreements by secretly installing a ‘hotfix‘ into its app to bypass Apple’s payment system and App Review Process, it knew full well what would happen and, in so doing, has knowingly and purposefully created the harm to game players and developers it now asks the Court to step in and remedy.”
Apple even offered Epic the opportunity to go back to the status quo before it installed the ‘hotfix’ in the app that turned everything into a hot mess.
“All of this can happen without any intervention of the Court or expenditure of judicial resources. And Epic would be free to pursue its primary lawsuit. But Epic does not want to remedy the harm that it contends requires immediate relief because it has a different goal in mind: it wants the Court to allow it to free ride on Apple’s innovation, intellectual property, and user trust.”
Today, Apple said Epic is seeking a special deal, but that's not true. We're fighting for open platforms and policy changes equally benefiting all developers. And it'll be a hell of a fight! https://t.co/R5A48InGTg
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 14, 2020