The court case between Epic Games and Apple has officially started. The two companies are locked in a legal battle over alleged “anticompetitive” behavior by the latter. Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple back in August 2020 following the removal of Fortnite from the iOS App Store.
In a Twitter thread, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said the reasoning for the lawsuit was to fight for the freedom of consumers and developers alike against companies who want to stifle it.
Kicked From Stores
Last August, Epic Games deducted 20% off the cost of Fortnite V-Bucks on all of their platforms and included a brand-new direct payment method on mobile devices.
Epic explained their reasoning, saying the company was able to “pass along the savings to players” and even called out the “exorbitant 30% fee” that Apple and Google collect on every single V-Buck purchase.
In response, both Apple and Google kicked Fortnite out of their respective stores with the former releasing a statement, part of which stated, “Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users…”
Epic Games would eventually file two lawsuits; one against Apple and the other against Google, although the legal battle against Google hasn’t started yet.
Apple decided to file a counter lawsuit against Epic and accused the developer of “commission-theft”. Apple’s countersuit document can be found online and in the document, it states, “Epic’s lawsuit is nothing more than a basic disagreement over money.”
Epic made numerous attempts to get Fortnite back on the App Store by asking the court to reinstate the game, stating that ever since it was removed, daily iOS Fortnite players declined by 60%. Despite these attempts, Fortnite hasn’t been reinstated on the App Store.
The trial started on May 3. Epic’s lawyers have argued that customers on Apple devices should have an alternate payment method with the legal team referring to the iOS system as a “walled garden”. Players can only purchase game assets through Apple.
tomorrow is the Epic Games vs. Apple trial. this month will be the most important month for fortnite mobile
— GOLDEN (@imgoldenyt) May 2, 2021
The trial will take place over the next three weeks until a verdict is announced. The outcome could change how the App Store operates in the future.
Leaks and More Leaks
The trial just started but, already, leaks regarding games and business practices have emerged.
In this particular case, evidence is submitted into the public record which is a problem for both Epic and Apple. The evidence includes documents from gaming companies that could contain trade secrets, unannounced projects, and more.
— IGN (@IGN) May 4, 2021
One of the more interesting leaks is that Nintendo has specific clauses in its contracts that say Japanese developers and publishers it works with cannot be tied to organized crime like the Yakuza or any group that can be considered an “Anti-Social Force”. Their heavily redacted document is available to the public here.
What do you think of the lawsuit? Feel free to speculate. Who will win, Epic or Apple?