Apple countersues Epic Games, asking for compensation in breaching its contract

Apple  shot back in its legal battle with Fortnite creator Epic Games, filing a response and counterclaims alleging that the gaming company breached its contract with Apple and seeking an unspecified amount in damages according to CNBC.

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,” Apple said in a filing with the District Court for the Northern District of California. 

The dispute between Apple and Epic Games began on 13 August, when Epic Games published a version of Fortnite to the Apple App Store that included a method for users to pay for in-game content without giving Apple its usual 30 per cent cut. Apple removed the app from the App Store, and Epic Games sued Apple later in the day.

Apple is now going one step further, asking the court to hold Epic liable for breach of contract and other counts, seeking restitution of all money Fortnite collected through its payment system, and seeking a permanent injunction banning its external payment mechanism in all apps, including Fortnite.

Apple’s response suggests it was blindsided by Epic, and even notes that Epic executives “recognised and thanked Apple for its support and promotion of Fortnite events” as recently as April 2020.

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 13August, 2020, the morning on which Epic would activate its hidden commission-theft functionality, Sweeney again emailed Apple executives, declaring that ‘Epic will no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions.”

According to the filing, Epic Games collected over $600 million from the App Store.

Ultimately, the Circuit Court of Northern California declared that Apple could not remove Unreal Engine from its Developer Console, but it also allowed for Apple to keep Fortnite off the App Store. This caused all Apple devices to be excluded from the newest season of the game, which launched late last month.The next hearing is scheduled for the end of the month.