Epic Games filed a notice of appeal on Sunday after a federal judge’s recent decision, which mostly sided with Apple, in one of the tech industry’s biggest lawsuits.
Apple kicked Epic off its app store in August 2020 after it quietly changed code inside Fortnite intended to break both companies’ rules. Apple takes up to a 30% cut of each sale through its payments service, but Epic turned on a hidden code that allowed users to buy in-game currency from the company directly, and for a 20% discount. Epic sued, alleging violating antitrust laws.
In her decision, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the US District Court for the Northern District of California said she agreed with Apple’s claim that Epic had violated its developer agreements and awarded damages equal to 30% of the $12 million Epic collected from iOS users between August and October 2020, plus 30% of any such revenue Epic’s collected since then. Rogers also said Apple’s rules against allowing developers to direct users to other payment systems were anti-competitive and issued an injunction to allow developers to do so in their apps.
Apple isn’t the only company that Epic is fighting over these issues. The Fortnite game maker also sued Google last year in a similar disagreement over the handling of payments.
Epic confirmed it had filed the notice but declined to comment further. An Apple representative called Friday’s ruling a resounding victory.
Fortnite’s fate on iPhones and iPads is still unclear
Epic says it wants its popular online battle game back on Apple devices. Apple says not so fast.
US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers handed down her highly anticipated ruling in the court case between Apple and Epic Games Friday, siding mostly with the iPhone maker. Epic had breached its contracts as a developer for Apple’s devices, she wrote. It had also failed to prove Apple’s App Store and associated developer rules constituted a monopoly. So what happens to Fortnite?
Epic’s hit online battle game was kicked out of Apple’s App Store in August 2020 over a thing called V-Bucks, in-game currency which people used to buy new looks for their characters and weapons. Typically, players on iPhones have to pay for V-Bucks using Apple’s payment methods, which automatically take up to a 30% commission. On Aug. 13, Epic turned on hidden code that allowed users to buy V-Bucks from the company directly, and for a 20% discount.