Epic Games have now filed formal legal proceedings against Apple Inc in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California.
⚠ This is a breaking news story and is being updated as developments come in.
This move comes hours after Apple removed the Fortnite app from the Apple app store for a breach of the App store terms and conditions.
Update - 21:35
Epic have released a statement encouraging users to start #FreeFortnite trending on twitter and highlighted that
Because Apple has BLOCKED your ability to update, when Fortnite Chapter 2 - Season 4 releases you will NOT be able to play the new Season on iOS. Make your voice heard with #FreeFortnite
It sounds as if Epic are in this for the long haul, and have put some decent thought into this, they've even released the following video:
It also appears that the Fortnite developers have ADDED that video in game as well, if you've got the app head into the party royale, and let us know what it's like
There isn't much more than that on their statement, and our team are still working through the details of the legal proceedings they have filed, we look forward to bringing you more updates as this progresses.
We have been unable to find the original statement from Apple, however social media has exploded with copies of the statement explaining why Fortnite was removed earlier today from the Apple app store:
As a response to this, a short time ago Epic Games tweeted to state that legal proceedings had been filed now against apple for this move with Epic stating
"Apple’s conduct has caused and continues to cause Epic financial harm"
Our team have started reviewing the legal proceedings filed and while we're not lawyers or experts in the field, this is what we've concluded so far.
Epic appear to be keen to prove that Apple could have allowed them to remain on the app store, and to do so would have been healthy competition between Apple and Epic and to do so would have been to enable users to base their purchasing decision off of what they felt most appropriate purchasing through.
It's important to note that Apple charge a 30% fee for any transactions, and Epic came in with their own payment options at 20% less than the original, as shown in this image included in the legal proceedings:
While there are a number of consumer benefits to purchasing through the Apple App store process, one of the key ones being that you can cancel your subscription very easily through iTunes rather than relying on an application developer to honor your wishes, or have to go through a bank to cancel a direct debit, the cut apple takes is significant, and for small in-app purchases it can make it difficult to be competitive, especially when a number of developers need to implement their own payment solutions anyway for other platforms.
Epic went on in their complaint to make the following statement:
On the morning of August 13, 2020, for the first time, Apple mobile device users were offered competitive choice. Epic added a direct payment option to Fortnite, giving players the option to continue making purchases using Apple’s payment processor or to use Epic’s direct payment system.
Epic appear to be keen to show that this was left in the users choice, and while true is still a breach of the terms and conditions of the apple app store, and as such we suspect Epic were fully expecting the app to be taken down. The legal proceedings are 65 pages long, and were published less than an hour after the app was removed, a number of online sources suggested that Epic were "Taunting" Apple into making this move so they could try to make an example out of them.