“When Apple refused to fundamentally alter the way it does business to appease Epic, Epic resorted to sudden, unilateral action that blatantly breached its contracts with Apple, and simultaneously filed this lawsuit, which seeks to justify its deliberate breaches after the fact,” Schiller said.
The tech giant goes on to compare Epic’s recent attempt to bypass the App Store by allowing Fortnite players to buy in-game currency to shoplifting. “If developers can avoid the digital checkout, it is the same as if a customer leaves an Apple retail store without paying for shoplifted product: Apple does not get paid.”
Apple delisted Fortnite on August 13th shortly after Epic started offering discounts on the title’s in-game currency if players bypassed the App Store. Shortly afterward, Epic responded by launching a lawsuit against Apple in which it claimed the App Store violates antitrust law. It also found time to parody Apple’s famous 1984 Macintosh ad. Later that same day, Google removed Fortnite from the Play Store. Epic responded with a lawsuit there as well.
The legal battle Apple and Epic find themselves locked in is a risky one for both companies. Apple faces the potential of drawing even more scrutiny to itself. Meanwhile, Epic could see Fortnite permanently barred from the App Store and without a way to update the Unreal Engine, which many third-party developers depend on for their iOS games. The court will hear Epic’s request for a restraining order on Monday.