In its legal filing, the tech giant has claimed that the Fortnite creator made its decision after being refused a special deal. Apple went on to say that Epic sent an email on June 30th, requesting that it be allowed to put an Epic Games Store app on its iOS storefront.
However, Apple denied permission, stating that "Apple has never allowed this we strongly believe these rules are vital to the health of the Apple platform and carry enormous benefits for both consumers and developers."
Following the rejection, on August 13th, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney wrote to the tech company, informing it that his company would go ahead, and break its agreement with Apple – "Epic will no longer adhere to Apple's payment processing restrictions."
Making a mess
"In the wake of its own voluntary actions, Epic now seeks emergency relief. But the "emergency" is entirely of Epic's own making," said Apple.
"Epic's agreements with Apple expressly spell out that if an app developer violates the rules of the App Store or the license for development tools – both of which apply and are enforced equally to all developers large and small – Apple will stop working with that developer. Developers who work to deceive Apple, as Epic has done here, are terminated.
"So when Epic willfully and knowingly breached its agreements by secretly installing a 'hotfix' into its app to bypass Apple's payment system and App Review Process, it knew full well what would happen and, in so doing, has knowingly and purposefully created the harm to game players and developers it now asks the Court to step in and remedy. Relief in these circumstances is not available under the law. And the injunction Epic seeks would threaten for everyone the benefits that Epic, developers and App Store customers have long enjoyed."
Sweeney has since responded to Apple's claims. Taking to Twitter (below), the exec claimed the statement to be "misleading" as he didn't request a special deal for Epic, rather he asked for the possible changes to be made for all developers.
"Epic is requesting that Apple agree in principle to permit Epic to roll out these options for the benefit of all iOS customers. We hope that Apple will also make these options equally available to all iOS developers in order to make software sales and distribution on the iOS platform as open and competitive as it is on personal computers," reads Sweeney's letter to Apple.
However, upon having the request rejected, Sweeney expressed his disappointment, as he insisted that Apple was pretending to protect its customers by denying them a choice in payment options. Although, the exec did claim that once "developers can reach consumers and do business without intermediation, then Epic will once again be an ardent supporter of Apple."
Of course, as a result of Apple removing Fortnite from its App Store, and threatening the use of Unreal Engine on iOS and Mac, Epic Games filed a lawsuit. Furthermore, it is hosting a #FreeFortnite tournament, with prizes that were openly anti-Apple.
"We hope that Apple will reflect on its platform restrictions and begin to make historic changes that bring to the world's billion iOS consumers the rights and freedoms enjoyed on the world's leading open computing platforms including Windows and macOS." pic.twitter.com/cRJRO8dQbG— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 21, 2020
Despite all the animosity between the behemoth companies, Apple would still like to see Epic on its storefront. However, the Fortnite creator's success is not reason enough for the tech giant to change its policies, nor does it believe it to be substantial enough for a court challenge.
"Apple wants Epic on iOS. Apple wants customers to have access to the games they love from Epic and every other developer. What's more, the success of Epic and so many other developers is exactly what Apple hoped for more than ten years ago when it opened the doors of the App Store," said Apple.
"But Epic's success does not entitle it to have this Court step in and remedy the harm it knowingly created, nor is there any legal basis for that. If Epic is looking for immediate relief for its customers, it can remove its "hotfix," continue to comply with the contracts it signed, and that apply to everyone else, and go on to pursue its legal challenge in this Court."