Epic Games has launched its legal fight against Apple after its hit battle royale title, Fortnite, was removed from the iPhone’s App Store in 2020. This ban prevents 116 million of its 350 million player base from accessing updates to the game, so Epic has taken the fight to the US and Australian courts to see it lifted.
Epic allegedly broke its agreements with Apple after it allowed players to buy VBucks - paid in-game currency - through non-App Store channels, bypassing the need to give a cut of revenue to the tech giant.
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Though it appears that Epic is looking for more than just getting Fortnite back onto iPhones, with this trial having the potential to see Apple’s walled-garden platforms finally opened up. Alternatively, game developers who use the Unreal Engine to make their apps could be left scrambling if Epic loses its access to the Apple ecosystem entirely.
Want to know more about Epic Games vs Apple, including court dates, the latest details, and what the outcomes could mean for your favorite games? Then read on.
Epic Games has been fairly vocal with its dislike for Apple’s current App Store policies. The whole #FreeFortnite campaign began due to a protest against the App Store’s 30% cut of purchases made through it. Epic is arguing that these policies are restrictive and going further to argue that Apple’s walled garden iPhone platform has led to an effective-monopoly. The Fortnite developer would like to launch a rival app store on Apple gadgets and open up the opportunity for other non-App Store routes onto the iPhone.
Apple on the other hand is arguing that its platform is fair and that Epic violated agreements it had with Apple by updating Fortnite without permission to circumvent sharing a cut of V-Bucks earnings with them. This violation could not only keep Fortnite off iPhone devices if the court upholds Apple’s decision, but could see any game made using the Unreal Engine (the popular Epic Games owned game engine) also removed.
There’s a lot at stake based on each trial’s outcome.
The two companies will be meeting in US courts on May 3, 2021. This is earlier than expected but still comes roughly nine months after Epic brought proceedings against Apple in August 2020. The two companies will be meeting in US courts on May 3, 2021. This is earlier than expected but still comes roughly nine months after Epic brought proceedings against Apple in August 2020.
The Australia-based trial on the other hand is yet to have its date announced. Epic launched proceedings against the tech-giant in November 2020. While it is a different court system in a different country, based on the delay for the American proceedings Epic won’t be going to court in Australia until potentially September 2021 or beyond. By this point, they may have a verdict from the US-based case, be that for better or for worse.
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