Epic Games will attempt to have Fortnite reinstated on the App Store by filling a preliminary injunction against Apple on September 28, 2020.
It's the latest maneuver in an ongoing legal dispute between Epic and Apple, which began when Epic added an unsanctioned payment method to Fortnite on iOS, prompting Apple to remove the title from its marketplace for breaching platform guidelines.
Apple had also threatened to block Epic from accessing its development SDK, effectively spelling the end for Unreal Engine titles on Mac and iOS devices, but the move was blocked by a U.S. District Court Judge who granted Epic's request for a temporary restraining order against Apple.
Now the company intends to force Apple to allow Fortnite back onto the App Store by filing an injunction that would prevent the iPhone maker from taking further action, while also rolling back the current restrictions.
"Epic Games, Inc. will move this Court pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65 for a Preliminary Injunction: restraining Defendant Apple Inc. from removing, de-listing, refusing to list or otherwise making unavailable the app Fortnite or any other app on Epic’s Team ID ’84 account in Apple’s Developer Program," reads the notice of motion filed by Epic.
Epic contests that Apple is inflicting "irreparable damage" to its reputation by blocking Fortnite, harming its business and the game itself, while simultaneously impeding its ability to compete with Apple by offering "competitive app distribution and competitive payment processing on iOS."
"By removing Fortnite from the App Store, Apple has 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," explains Epic.
"Daily active users on iOS have declined by over 60 percent since Fortnite’s removal from the App Store. And removal already has resulted in a loss of goodwill and irreparable damage to Epic’s reputation. The continued loss of Fortnite as a gathering place for users on all platforms will lead Epic’s customers to defect. Epic may never see these users again.
"Epic is ideally situated to challenge Apple’s restrictions. Epic is a would-be direct competitor of Apple in the relevant markets, ready to offer competitive app distribution and competitive payment processing on iOS.
"To enable Epic to carry out this challenge without suffering irreparable harm from Apple’s retaliation in the interim, Epic respectfully requests that the Court grant its motion for a preliminary injunction to stop Apple from retaliating further and to undo Apple’s retaliation to date."
You can hear Epic's argument in full by checking out the (rather lengthy) court filing. It'll be interesting to see how the motion is received, considering one judge has already quashed Epic's claims of irreparable harm relating to Fortnite after finding the current situation is one of its own making.