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Apple accuses Epic of ‘starting a fire and pouring petrol on it’ in new Fortnite filing

Apple has responded to Epic’s demand that the iPhone maker restore Fortnite to the App Store in new legal archives with arguments that the company’s damages are “completely self-inflicted” and that Fortnite can return to iOS at any time – as soon as Epic removes the custom payment system in the app that initially triggered the removal of the game.

“Epic started a fire and poured gasoline on it and is now asking this court for emergency assistance in extinguishing it,” Apple wrote in a 37-page opposition statement. “[E]Although Epic can do it itself in an instant by simply complying with the contractual terms that have governed its relationship with Apple for many years. ”

The company later added: “Epic could have avoided further damage involving both Fortnite and Unreal Engine ̵

1; with a single keystroke. It says that by refusing to do so, “Epic is holding its own customers hostage in order to get leverage in a business conflict.”

This is not a new argument from Apple. Ever since it kicked Fortnite from the App Store in August, the iPhone maker has been aware that it would be happy to return to status quo. However, these archives provide more details about the legal arguments that Apple will draw on in its response to Epic’s demands for a preliminary injunction and restoration of Fortnite for iOS users. A full hearing to decide the case is scheduled for September 28.

During filing, Apple reiterates its main argument: that the company is providing a valuable service by maintaining the App Store, and that Epic, by circumventing the store’s rules, has broken its contract with Apple, and the company is free to launch it from its services. But the opposition brief also adds new details. For example, Apple suggests that Epic has partially started this legal battle to draw attention to a fluttering franchise:

“For reasons that have nothing to do with Epic’s claims against Apple, Fortnite’s popularity is waning. By July 2020, interest in Fortnite had dropped by almost 70% compared to October 2019. This lawsuit (and the front page headlines it has generated) appear to be part of a marketing campaign designed to revive interest in Fortnite. ”

Elsewhere, Apple notes that iOS is not a big part of it Fortniteincome. It cites revelations from Epic, of which only 10 percent off Fortnite consumers regularly play on the iPhone, claiming that Epic has said that Apple is the “smallest piece of the pie” when it comes to revenue. The implication is again that Epic does not suffer “irreparable damage” (as the company has claimed in its own archives), but kicks nonsense for other, self-interested reasons.

In parallel with this argument, Apple says that Epic’s claim that it has suffered “reputation damage” from being launched from the App Store is also misleading. The iPhone maker says Epic’s “pre-planned media flash” shows that it’s actually inviting attention created by this case:

“If Epic were truly concerned that it would suffer reputational damage from this dispute, it would not engage in these detailed efforts to publish it. From all appearances (including the #freefortnite campaign), Epic believes that its behavior here will create goodwill, increase its reputation, and lead users to Fortnite, not the other way around. There is no harm. ”

However, that’s only a small part of Apple’s broader argument. To prepare for this month’s trial, read the opposition’s brief below:

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