Apple countersues Epic Games for damages in latest escalation of Fortnite/App Store battle

As the battle between Epic Games and Apple continues on, the latter has officially filed a countersuit against the Fortnite developer asking for damages over the breach of its developer contract. In the new court filing, Apple says Epic isn’t the “modern corporate Robin Hood” that it claims to be.

Reported by CNBC, Apple included the following statement as part of the new legal filing that is seeking compensation from Epic over the breach of its contract. The move marks Apple countersuing Epic as the feud intensifies.

″Epic’s lawsuit is nothing more than a basic disagreement over money,” Apple said in a filing with the District Court for the Northern District of California. “Although Epic portrays itself as a modern corporate Robin Hood, in reality it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing for the tremendous value it derives from the App Store.”

It’s unclear exactly how much money Apple is seeking in damages from Epic. But it may not be a huge sum as it appears Apple is trying to recover the money it lost during the few hours that Epic snuck its own payment method into Fornite on iOS before being pulled.

The other part of the countersuit is Apple asking the court for a “permanent injunction” to ban Epic’s direct payment option.

Apple is now going one step further, asking the court to hold Epic liable for breach of contract and other counts, seeking restitution of all money Fortnite collected through its payment system, and seeking a permanent injunction banning its external payment mechanism in all apps, including Fortnite.

In the new court filing, Apple describes Epic’s actions as a “sneak assault” and its direct payment feature as “commission-theft functionality.”

Unbeknownst to Apple, Epic had been busy enlisting a legion of lawyers, publicists, and technicians to orchestrate a sneak assault on the App Store. Shortly after 2:00 a.m. on August 13, 2020, the morning on which Epic would activate its hidden commission-theft functionality, Mr. Sweeney again emailed Apple executives, declaring that “Epic will no longer adhere to Apple’s payment processing restrictions.”


After kicking Fornite out of the App Store hours after Epic snuck in its own payment system, Epic filed a lawsuit against Apple to reinstate that and also be able to run its own app store on iOS devices. Apple responded by giving Fortnite a fortnite before terminating its developer accounts.

Epic filed another lawsuit asking the court to prevent Apple from deleting its dev accounts. The judge decided Apple couldn’t terminate Epic’s dev accounts related to Unreal Engine, but it could for the game related ones it used for Fortnite and other titles.

All along, Apple reiterated that Epic could avoid having its dev accounts deleted by submitting a Fortnite update that removed the direct payment feature (and continue on with its lawsuit). But Epic didn’t budge, with Apple terminating its dev accounts except for Unreal Engine related ones on August 28th.

Then just a week after that, Epic made another filing, asking the court to make Apple allow Fortnite back on the App Store. However, that seems very unlikely as the Northern California court judge previously made a decision on that exact matter.

According to a report from Buyshares, Epic could be losing as much as $26 million a month in revenue by being banned from the App Store. Meanwhile, Apple said in its filing today that Epic has earned a total of $600 million with Fortnite on its App Store.

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Avatar for Michael Potuck Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.