The newest phase of the legal argument between Epic Games and Apple regarding Fortnite‘s presence — or lack thereof — on the App Store is underway. Gamasutra is reporting that Epic will file a preliminary injunction against Apple on Sept. 28 that requires Fortnite be made available again on the App Store, citing the “irreparable damage” to the developer’s reputation.
Epic claims that Fortnite’s removal from the App Store is having a profound effect on its community of former players, with the game’s removing having “cleaved millions of users from their friends and family in the Fortnite community, which entirely depends on connectivity. The user outcry has been deafening, showing real harm to the public interest.” In other words, making a video game unavailable counts as “real harm to the public interest.” Let that sink in.
Epic further claims that the removal of Fortnite has led to a 60% decrease in daily active users on iOS and “a loss of goodwill and irreparable damage to Epic’s reputation … Epic may never see these users again.” According to stock market news website BuyShares, Epic stands to lose $26.7 million for every month that Fortnite is absent from the App Store.
The core of Epic’s argument seems to be its insistence that “Apple is a monopolist” that “unlawfully” maintains its control over app distribution and payment methods on iOS devices. Because it’s “unlawful,” Epic was fully within its rights to break Apple’s rules. If that argument can hold up, then Epic might have a chance and could change the App Store forever. If it doesn’t, then the “irreparable damage to Epic’s reputation” will likely be viewed as the doing of Epic itself, and not Apple.
UPDATE: You’ll soon no longer be able to sign into Fortnite with your Apple account.
Apple will no longer allow users to sign into Fortnite using “Sign In with Apple” as soon as September 11, 2020. If you used “Sign In with Apple”, please make sure your email and password are up to date. https://t.co/T0Rq0tfrR7
— Fortnite Status (@FortniteStatus) September 9, 2020
UPDATE #2: Or not. Apparently, Apple has reversed its decision, at least for the time being.
UPDATE: Apple previously stated they would terminate “Sign In with Apple” support for Epic Games accounts after Sept 11, 2020, but today provided an indefinite extension. We still recommend you prepare your accounts now for “Sign In with Apple” removal. https://t.co/T0Rq0tfrR7
— Fortnite Status (@FortniteStatus) September 10, 2020