Apple Fires Back in Court, Says Epic Games CEO Asked For Special Deal

Epic Games had introduced a direct payment service in Fortnite for iOS for in-game purchases, bypassing Apple’s payment system, and thereby, violating App Store policies. Since Epic Games had violated the rules, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store. In retaliation to Apple’s decision to remove Fortnite from the App Store, Epic Games had filed a lawsuit against Apple accusing the company of anticompetitive behavior and creating a monopoly. The Cupertino-based tech giant has responded to the game developer in court today.

According to Apple, Epic Games violated Apple’s rule by implementing a direct payment service in the game, and therefore, Fortnite shouldn’t be placed back into the App Store until the lawsuit is settled.

Epic Games’ CEO, Tim Sweeney, had demanded that Apple should allow developers to have their own payment system and that Apple should lower the commission charges. Sweeney had said that the gaming company isn’t seeking a special deal just for itself and that what Epic Games is asking should be applicable to every developer. Apple, however, bolstered Sweeney’s claim by showing three emails from Sweeney to Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, asking for a special deal.

Phil Schiller, Senior Vice President at Apple, wrote “On June 30, 2020, Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney wrote my colleagues and me an email asking for a ‘side letter’ from Apple that would create a special deal for only Epic that would fundamentally change the way in which Epic offers apps on Apple’s iOS platform,” in a declaration to the court. According to Schiller, Sweeney emailed him the morning that Epic Games changed the payment method saying “will no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions.”

Apple has announced that if Epic Games doesn’t fix the violations, the Cupertino-based tech giant will terminate Epic Games’ developer account from the App Store. Epic Games has filed for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Apple asking the court to stop the company from removing its account from the App Store and restoring Fortnite back on the app distribution platform. A hearing for the motion of TRO is scheduled for Monday in the Northern District of California. It remains to be seen if the court passes the Epic Games’ motion for TRO.

What is your opinion on this?

People were supporting Epic Games when the company had said that it was fighting on behalf of all developers claiming that it is not seeking a special deal from Apple and that it wants all developers to be treated equally. But now it looks like Epic Games did ask for a special deal after all. So, should people still support Epic Games when they know that the game developer was looking out just for itself? Do let us know in the comments section below.

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