Apple Says Epic Games Using Lawsuit to ‘Revive the Flagging Interest in Fortnite’

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 8 Apr 2021

Ahead of the upcoming Apple vs. Epic Games battle in court, the Cupertino company has submitted over 500 pages of documents detailing its findings, arguments, and conclusion on the matter. Among other things, the document highlights Epic Games’ “Project Liberty,” which aimed at portraying Apple in a bad light.

Apple argues that Epic Games made over $700 million from Fortnite being available on the App Store for around two years. After this, the company came up with a strategy to show Apple as the “bad guy.” The company even says that “Epic just wants to free-ride” on its various innovations and that Epic Games is using the lawsuit to “revive the flagging interest in Fortnite.”

Apple says that Epic Games hired a PR firm and lawyers as a part of “Project Liberty.” The company silently also added an alternative payment system to Fortnite on iOS and then activated it via an update leading to the current tussle between Apple and Epic Games.

This was all part of a pre-planned media strategy called “Project Liberty.” Epic retained Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and a public relations firm in 2019, and this lawsuit is the culmination of that effort. Epic seeks to portray Apple as the bad guy so that it can revive flagging interest in Fortnite. Yet, ironically, when Epic got kicked off the iOS platform, it told players that they could continue playing on consoles, PCs, and other devices–demonstrating the existence of competition and the absence of monopoly.

Apple argues that the 30% App Store commission it charges is fair because it provides developers with access to over a billion devices. Its role as the gatekeeper of the App Store also includes reviewing all apps published on the platform, ensuring developers have access to the right set of tools, and more.

Apple further argues that Epic wants to make more money which is why it wants to set up alternative App Store terms. However, doing so will end up hurting other developers and consumers, while also undermining all the hard work that Apple has put in on the App Store over the years.

The court hearing for Apple vs. Epic Games is scheduled to start next month, with notable Apple executives including Tim Cook coming as witnesses.