Epic Games asks judge to block Apple’s removal of Fortnite

Video-game maker also asks court to stop any retaliatory action against its other titles in Apple’s app store.

Epic Games Fortnite Apple 1984 spoof
A scene from the 'Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite' short released by popular video game Fortnite maker Epic Games is seen, after Apple Inc removed the game from its App Store for violating the company's in-app payment guidelines. [File: Epic Games/Handout via Reuters]

Epic Games said on Monday that it was seeking to block Apple Inc’s removal of Fortnite from its app store and has asked a judge to prevent any retaliatory action against its other games in the store.

The video-game maker also said Apple would terminate all of Epic Games’ developer accounts and cut it off from its development tools starting August 28.

In addition to making its own titles, Epic also makes tools for other game developers such as the Unreal Engine, which helps game developers create three-dimensional graphics. The tool is also used by medical imaging companies and car designers and is used by millions of developers, Epic said.

In its filing, Epic alleged that if Apple cuts off its access to Apple’s developers, it will be unable to keep offering the Unreal Engine for Mac and iPhone operating systems, which would, in turn, affect hundreds of game titles. Some of the games, such as PUBG, have hundreds of millions of players, Epic wrote in its filing.

“The effects will reverberate well beyond video games; it will affect developers who use the Unreal Engine on Apple products in many fields,” Epic said in its filing asking the court to issue an order blocking Apple’s move. “The ensuing impact on the Unreal Engine’s viability, and the trust and confidence developers have in that engine, cannot be repaired with a monetary award.”

Apple did not return a request for comment.

Apple earlier removed Fortnite from its app store for violating in-app payment guidelines prompting Epic to file federal lawsuits challenging the rule in what promises to be a fierce anti-trust battle.

Epic rolled out a social media campaign with the hashtag #FreeFortnite, urging players to seek refunds from Apple if they lose access to the game, and creating a parody of Apple’s famous 1984-themed television advertisement.

Source: Reuters