The ongoing legal feud between Apple and Epic Games took another turn on Tuesday, with Apple now seeking damages from the studio for its breach of contract (via CNBC). The move comes in response to Epic’s recent request for a preliminary injunction to put Fortnite back on the App Store and force Apple to restore its developer account. Apple is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
″Epic’s lawsuit is nothing more than a basic disagreement over money,” the tech giant said in its filing with the District Court of the Northern District of California. “Although Epic portrays itself as a modern corporate Robin Hood, in reality it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing for the tremendous value it derives from the App Store.” Apple revealed in the filing that Epic has made more than $600 million from the App Store.
If you somehow missed how all of this started, on August 13th Epic’s Fortnite Mega Drop on iOS and Android included an option for players to pay for the game’s in-game currency directly. Epic offered a discount to those who took advantage of this option. Both Apple and Google removed Fortnite from their respective app stores later that same day. Epic responded by launching separate lawsuits against the two companies, accusing them of anti-competitive practices.
On August 28th, Apple went on to terminate Epic’s App Store developer account, delisting the company’s other games in the process. For a moment, it seemed like the company would also cut off the account Epic uses to maintain the Unreal Engine, but the judge overseeing the case ruled Apple could not do that.
Apple is now effectively taking things a step further by asking the court to hold Epic liable for its actions. It’s asking that the studio repay all the money it collected when it gave Fortnite players the option to bypass the App Store’s payment mechanisms. It’s also asking for a permanent injunction against Epic’s external payment system.
A hearing between the two companies is currently scheduled for later this month.