Just a week after Apple terminated Epic Games’ developer account, Epic has filed for a preliminary injunction that would both allow Fortnite back on the App Store and restore access to its developer account.
In the filing, Epic Games says it was willing to challenge Apple “because it was the right thing to do” and “it was better positioned than many other companies to weather the storm.” Epic describes Apple as a “monopolist” who maintains its dominant position by “explicitly prohibiting any competitive entry” to both app distribution and in-app payment processing markets.
Epic mentions that it’s “likely to suffer irreparable harm” if Fortnite is not made available on the App Store and that “the balance of harms tips strongly in Epic’s favor,” citing that daily iOS active users have already declined by over 60% since the app’s initial removal from the App Store.
Fortnite introduced a direct payment option in mid-August that skirted Apple’s in-app purchase system by allowing payments directly to Epic Games. Apple shortly after pulled the app from the App Store for disregarding App Store policies, which has lead to a lawsuit from Epic and a quickly escalating legal fight between the two companies.
Epic has refused to back down from the direct purchase option added to Fortnite, and Apple won’t allow the app in the App Store while the direct payment option remains. Apple told Epic that it’s ready to “welcome Fortnite back onto iOS” if Epic removes the direct payment option and returned to the status quo while the legal battle plays out in court, but Epic has refused.
The preliminary injunction was filed on Friday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and the hearing will take place on September 28.