In the ongoing legal battle between Epic and Apple, the Fortnite developer is now trying to bring the game back to the App Store with a temporary restraining order. According to a report by NBC News, Apple has responded by asking the judge to block Epic’s request.
If granted, the temporary restraining order would let Fortnite return to the App Store along with its direct payment system against the wishes of Apple. In its response, Apple has said, “TROs [temporary restraining orders] exist to remedy irreparable harm, not easily reparable self-inflicted wounds.”
Apple’s filing further reads, “Here, Epic executed a carefully orchestrated, multi-faceted campaign, complete with a parody video, merchandise, hashtag, belligerent tweets and now a pre-packaged TRO. All of the injury Epic claims to itself, game players, and developers could have been avoided if Epic filed its lawsuit without breaching its agreements. All of that alleged injury for which Epic improperly seeks emergency relief could disappear tomorrow if Epic cured its breach.”
Apple’s lawyers have also emphasized that Fortnite will be welcomed back to the App Store while the company pursues its antitrust lawsuit if it agrees to App Store’s terms of service. In a recent filing, Apple has alleged that Epic asked for a special treatment for Fortnite. When it wasn’t allowed to do so, the company went ahead with the decision to violate App Store’s policies. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has said that Apple’s statement is misleading.
Apple’s statement is misleading. You can read my email in Apple’s filing, which is publicly available. I specifically said in Epic’s request to the Apple execs, “We hope that Apple will also make these options equally available to all iOS developers…” https://t.co/yRio08fPSy pic.twitter.com/HsqjApFQeo
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 21, 2020
Sweeney also provided a screenshot of the email correspondence with Apple’s Tim Cook, Craig Federighi, Phil Schiller, and Matt Fischer. In the email, Sweeney talks about some features Epic would like to introduce to consumers, which are restricted due to Apple’s policies. The features include a competing payment method and an Epic Games Store app that can be downloaded via App Store. Currently, Apple does not allow iOS users to download apps that aren’t distributed through the App Store. The email also mentions that these options should be available to all iOS developers.
The email says, “Epic is requesting that Apple agree in principle to permit Epic to roll out these options for the benefits of all iOS customers. We hope that Apple will also make these options equally available to all iOS developers in order to make software sales and distribution on the iOS platform as open and competitive as it is on personal computers.”