Epic Games says 'Fortnite' users on iPhone have plummeted 60%, and it's trying to force Apple to reinstate the game to the App Store
- 'Fortnite' creator Epic Games filed a new legal challenge against Apple on Friday night, arguing it should be forced to allow the game back on the App Store.
- Epic said since 'Fortnite' was kicked off the App Store, daily active users of the game on iPhone or iPad had plummeted by 60%.
- It revealed roughly a third of its registered users for 'Fortnite' worldwide are on iOS.
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Epic Games, the creator of "Fortnite," is still trying to force Apple to restore the game to the App Store while the two companies duke it out over whether Apple's rules on in-app purchases are legal.
Epic in a new filing submitted to the court late on Friday said iOS usership had plummeted since Apple effectively booted 'Fortnite' off the App Store on August 27.
Epic wrote in its filing: "Daily active 'Fortnite' users on iOS have already declined by more than 60% since Apple began its retaliatory campaign." The firm added that Apple's actions will "wreak havoc on the existing Fortnite community."
Epic also revealed in its filing iOS users make up the biggest chunk of "Fortnite" players overall.
Out of 350 million registered users, more than 116 million are iOS users — equating to a third. "Fortnite" is also playable on Android, the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PCs, and macOS (from which it has also been booted).
Epic claimed in the new filing that Apple has banned it for one year, and argues losing access to its iOS players will do irreparable damage.
"Epic may never see these users again. It will also be denied the opportunity to access even a single new user among the one-billion-plus iOS users for at least the next year," the company wrote.
This new filing comes after Epic was partially denied a restraining order to try and force Apple to allow "Fortnite" back on the App Store, after a court found Epic had not demonstrated getting booted off the App Store would result in "irreparable harm." The judge also said Epic's position was "of its own making" and that it "strategically chose to breach its agreements with Apple."
Epic's fight with Apple began on August 13, when it updated its game for Apple and Android so that all in-app purchases were now via its own payment system. Apple and Google both took "Fortnite" off their storefronts citing guideline violations. In Apple's case, developers are obligated to use Apple's in-app payment system, which automatically takes a 15% to 30% commission for Apple on every payment made through it.
Epic argues this is anticompetitive, and it's not the only developer to fight Apple over the rule.
Spotify lodged a complaint in the EU last year which has resulted in an antitrust investigation into the practice. Facebook also recently got into a spat with Apple over the fee after Apple refused to waive it for a new Facebook feature.
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