On late Friday, Epic Games filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, asking a judge to force Apple to bring Fornite back to the App Store.
“Today we asked the Court to stop Apple’s retaliation against Epic for daring to challenge its unlawful restrictions while our antitrust case proceeds. This is a necessary step to free consumers and developers from Apple’s costly, anti-competitive control,” wrote Epic Games on Twitter.
Today we asked the Court to stop Apple’s retaliation against Epic for daring to challenge its unlawful restrictions while our antitrust case proceeds. This is a necessary step to free consumers and developers from Apple’s costly, anti-competitive control. https://t.co/r2XxhitjMp
— Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom) September 5, 2020
The 182-page document details Epic Games’ argument about why Fortnite needs to be reinstated.
“Fortnite is more than just a game. It is an intensely social community whose value to its users depends in large part on the ability to connect with other users. Epic has built a community that people rely on. By removing Fortnite from the App Store, Apple has cleaved millions of users from their friends and family in the Fortnite community, which entirely depends on connectivity,” explains the company.
“The user outcry has been deafening, showing real harm to the public interest. Daily active users on iOS have declined by over 60% since Fortnite’s removal from the App Store. And removal already has resulted in a loss of goodwill and irreparable damage to Epic’s reputation,” the filing adds.
“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. It will also be denied the opportunity to access even a single new user among the one-billion-plus iOS users for at least the next year.”
“The removal of Fortnite from iOS also substantially impedes a major Epic initiative—evolving Fortnite into a full-fledged “metaverse”, a multi-purpose, persistent, interactive virtual space. Harm like this to Epic’s flagship app cannot be calculated in damages,” says Epic Games.
Epic Games says there are 116 million registered iOS Fortnite users, with the latter being the biggest platform for the game, out of its total 350 million users. The majority of its users at 63% use iOS to play Fortnite, but now that the game no longer has updates, the latter has plummeted.
When Epic Games circumvented App Store policy by implementing its own in-app payment system, Apple quickly removed Fortnite from the App Store. Epic Games then sued Apple, while the latter recently removed the Fortnite founder’s developer accounts resulting in no more updates for iOS and Mac users.