Epic asks Apple to reinstate Fortnite to the App Store

Image via Epic Games
Image via Epic Games

Five months ago, Apple pulled one of the most popular games in the world, Fortnite, from its App Store.

Since then, Epic Games and Apple have been embroiled in a legal battle that spilled over into the public eye as both companies attempted to push their narrative about why Fortnite was removed.

Recently, Epic filed a new request to get Apple to reinstate the popular battle royale title to the App Store in the UK.

The battle for Fortnite continues

This all began when Epic updated Fortnite to bypass Apple’s payment processor, allowing the game to process in-game purchases itself and effectively cut the tech giant out of the loop. Apple, claiming that this was against its terms of service, promptly removed Fortnite from its stores.

While this wouldn’t normally be a problem, the issue is that Apple currently runs the only store available on iOS devices. Under a strict interpretation of the events, the American company runs a monopoly on the entire iOS market. Where this gets complicated is that Apple phones aren’t the only smartphones on the market, although they are one of the most successful.

There’s a lot of legal grey area, which means that this will likely require an outside ruling to settle as it’s not likely that the two companies will be able to come to an agreement on their own.

While the initial court case was filed in the United States, both companies are big enough to have a near-global presence, making almost every country’s judicial system a potential battlefield for Epic’s and Apple’s army of lawyers.

The Fortnite fight goes international

This filing in the UK is likely an attempt by Epic to expand its fight into more sympathetic courts. The United Kingdom, and the now separate entity of the European Union, have a history of being more willing to stand up to big tech companies like Apple.

Because such organizations have a global reach, it’s often easier to have a system that works everywhere rather than having separate systems for each individual location. As a result, if Apple has to change its policy for one influential region, it may lead to policy changes worldwide.

This seems to fit Epic’s rhetoric about the fight as well. To end its filing, the publisher and developer has stated:

“Epic is not seeking damages from Apple or Google in the UK, Australia or the US, it is simply seeking fair access and competition that will benefit all consumers.”

Whichever court gets to this case first will have a rare chance to set a global precedent and could lead to global outcomes for Apple, Epic, and the future of Fortnite itself.

Edited by Ravi Iyer
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