UPDATE (August 18, 2020): In a new development following the ongoing lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games, the video game developer behind Fortnite is now requesting the court for an injunction against the tech giant. According to Epic, Apple is terminating all of its developer accounts from both iOS and Mac systems, a move which it believes will cause “irreparable harm” not just to the company itself but to all other developers out there who rely on its Unreal Engine. In support of its filing, Epic says that the court should grant the injunction because the legal case is likely to be decided in their favor, and that it is in the public interest to grant one.
Apple has yet to comment on this latest development.
Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store and has informed Epic that on Friday, August 28 Apple will terminate all our developer accounts and cut Epic off from iOS and Mac development tools. We are asking the court to stop this retaliation. Details here: https://t.co/3br1EHmyd8
— Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom) August 17, 2020
On Thursday, the video game developer and publisher added a new payment system for its massively-popular battle royale game Fortnite, which allows transactions to bypass the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, effectively avoiding the 30 percent cut taken by the two companies. In response to this, both stores have now removed Fortnite, saying that Epic Games has violated their policies. Both Apple and Google have since issued statements addressing the removals, with the former saying the publisher “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,” while the latter explained that “while Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies.”
In light of these removals, Epic Games then filed individual lawsuits against both Apple and Google, alleging that their practices harm competition. “Epic seeks to end Apple’s dominance over key technology markets, open up the space for progress and ingenuity, and ensure that Apple mobile devices are open to the same competition as Apple’s personal computers,” the company said in its lawsuit against Apple. “As such, Epic respectfully requests this Court to enjoin Apple from continuing to impose its anti-competitive restrictions on the iOS ecosystem and ensure 2020 is not like ‘1984’.”
Building on its statement, Epic has also released a video, above, as a parody of Apple’s famous 1984 Super Bowl commercial. The original commercial comprised Apple’s takedown of tech companies like IBM, which were perceived to be monopolising the market. With its parody, Epic suggests that Apple has become the very kind of business that it once so forcefully criticized.
Neither Apple nor Google have publicly commented on the lawsuits so far. Stay tuned as the story develops.
Elsewhere in gaming, a new Xbox Series X leak is suggesting a potential launch date.