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Fortnite: Apple hits back at Epic Games, demands compensation for damages in countersuit

(Image Credit: ZDNet)
(Image Credit: ZDNet)
Izaak
ANALYST
Modified 09 Sep 2020, 01:19 IST
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The battle over Fortnite is heating up as Apple lays out its criticisms against Epic Games in their latest counter-suit, raising the stakes in the fight and showing that they’re willing to go on the offensive in this fight. Apple is now accusing Epic of misleading the public and intentionally harming Apple’s business.

Apple’s latest statement against Epic Games

In their latest statement Apple said

“Epic’s lawsuit is nothing more than a basic disagreement over money… Although Epic portrays itself as a modern corporate Robin Hood, in reality it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing for the tremendous value it derives from the App Store.”

In this way, Apple frames their fight as simply another way of settling a business dispute while also taking aim at Tim Sweeney’s carefully crafted public image. They also frame their store as a service and not as a market, effectively sidestepping the main criticism against them. Their statement continued, saying 

“Unbeknownst to Apple, Epic had been busy enlisting a legion of lawyers, publicists, and technicians to orchestrate a sneak assault on the App Store. Shortly after 2:00 a.m. on August 13, 2020, the morning on which Epic would activate its hidden commission-theft functionality, Mr. Sweeney again emailed Apple executives, declaring that ‘Epic will no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions.’”

How Apple frames their fight over Fortnite

It’s noteworthy that Apple emphasizes certain aspects of this event, specifically the supposed surprise and innocence of Apple’s executives as to the nature of Epic’s dispute. They also call the newly implemented feature in Fortnite, which allowed players to purchase V-Bucks directly through Fortnite instead of using an Apple service, as “theft.”

We should ask whether or not theft is an accurate description of the events in question. If someone sells a product directly to a consumer, as Epic did with the digital currency in Fortnite, can that be considered stealing money from a distributor or other kind of middleman?


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Fortnite followers should be skeptical 

It is in both companies’ best interest to exaggerate the damage done by their opponents (while likewise downplaying that damage to investors and shareholders), and so the truth will likely remain shrouded and cloudy for the duration of this lawsuit. Will Fortnite being banned act as a harbinger for corporate trampling of free market values? Does Epic Games’ business backstabbing undermine the very notion of free trade?

Perhaps the best way to keep track of all of this is with a healthy dose of skepticism. It should be understood that both Epic and Apple care a great deal about their public image, and that while Fortnite users might care about Fortnite and where they can play it, they probably don’t have as much to gain (or lose) in this fight as Apple or Epic want them to believe.

Published 09 Sep 2020, 01:19 IST
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