Apple iPhones Won’t Get Fortnite Updates Amid Court Battle With Epic
The news comes as Epic criticized Apple as a “monopoly” and said it wouldn’t be removing the in-app payment system for Fortnite, which was what caused the controversy that has led to multiple lawsuits now.
Apple’s App Store charges a 30 percent commission for users to use the in-app purchase system. Epic circumvented that with its own payment system, which Apple said was a violation of the company terms, removing Fortnite from its store.
Epic responded with a lawsuit quickly thereafter, and Apple retorted by announcing that it would be removing Epic’s entire profile from its platform. Google, in addition, also removed the Fortnite app due to the payment system controversy.
One debate in the whole affair for game developers is the potential loss of Epic’s Unreal Engine, a software tool which hundreds of other app makers use, and which would become inaccessible if Epic’s account was deleted as promised. On Monday (Aug. 24), Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California blocked Apple from shutting down Unreal Engine.
Rogers said that no matter what Epic had done in regard to the payment system, it hadn’t breached rules related to Unreal Engine.
But Rogers still let the tech giant keep Fortnite off its store until Epic agrees to only use Apple’s payment feature, deleting the direct payment feature that started the whole issue. Rogers contested that Epic wouldn’t sustain irreparable harm from removing the direct payment feature during the lawsuit, Reuters reported.
Epic didn’t go for it, though, and refused to resubmit the app at all for now, calling it a matter of principle. Epic said doing otherwise would be “an invitation for Epic to collude with Apple to maintain their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS, suppressing free market competition and inflating prices,” Reuters reported.