Apple and Epic Games have been at each other’s throats for a while now, since the former removed Fortnite from its play store after Epic Games decided to introduce its own in-app payment system. Adding another element to the already convoluted legal dispute between the two entities, Apple will now seek damages from the gaming giant for the monetary harm caused by the payments system, and for the harm that has been done to its reputation.
Apple has a clear policy when it comes to making transactions facilitated by its App Store- you either pay a cut or you get cut. For gaming titles, the company takes 30% off the top of any transactions made, which many consider as monopolistic practices, something that the company has already been grilled by Congress about. However, Epic Games decided to breach this contract, and decided to add its own in app payment system which took Apple out of the loop. This led to the company booting out the app from its App Store, and became the start of a long battle.
Epic Games launched a campaign against Apple, and Apple decided to revoke access to developer tools from the company for Apple users, including the Unreal engine. The company also went as far as to revoke Epic’s ability to distribute updates or new apps through the App Store.
This led to Epic suing the company, which resulted in Apple reinstating access to the developer tools, but Fornite still not finding its way back to the App Store. Epic Games then announced that it would stop providing updates for Fortnite on Apple devices, which means that there are two versions of Fornite now.
All of this is already bewildering enough, but Apple has decided that it doesn’t want to be the accused in this ordeal, it wants to be the accuser. Thus, it has decided to ask for reparations from Epic Games, seeking “restitution and disgorgement of all earnings, profits, compensation, benefits, and other ill-gotten gains obtained by Epic as a result of its conduct.”
Moreover, the company also seeks damages for harms caused to its reputation, as well as a ban of the in app payments system.
The company has already said that it will reinstate Fornite on the app store if Epic Games complies with its contract, but it looks like that is not in the cards.