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Apple calls Epic Game lawsuit a publicity stunt, marketing campaign for Fortnite

Yasmin Ahmed     September 17, 2020

Apple in it latest legal filings in the lawsuit over Fortnite has said that Epic is seeking help for self-inflicted wounds. Epic had sought injunction from the court that would force Apple to restore Fortnite to the App Store until the outcome of the full trial. Apple maintained that Fortnite can return to the App Sote anytime given that it removes its in-app payment system because of which it was first removed.

The 37-page opposition brief by Apple procured by The Verge read: "Epic started a fire, and poured gasoline on it, and now asks this Court for emergency assistance in putting it out, even though Epic can do so itself in an instant by simply adhering to the contractual terms that have profitably governed its relationship with Apple for years. This Court was right when it previously ruled that self-inflicted wounds are not irreparable injury."

Apple further called Epic's attempts to legally force Fortnite to the App Store a publicity stunt.

"If Epic were truly concerned that it would suffer reputational injury from this dispute, it would not be engaging in these elaborate efforts to publicise it. From all appearances (including the #freefortnite campaign), Epic thinks its conduct here will engender goodwill, boost its reputation, and drive users to Fortnite, not the opposite. That is not harm," Apple noted.

According to Apple, Epic did not suffer much loss on getting removed from the App Store because iOS is not a big revenue-generator for the company. Apple quoted disclosures from Epic that only 10 percent of Fortnite consumers play regularly on the iPhone, and claimed that Epic has said Apple is the smallest piece of the pie when it comes to revenue.

Apple also noted that Epic's attempts are part of a marketing campaign to attract a potential franchise.

"For reasons having nothing to do with Epic's claims against Apple, Fortnite's popularity is on the wane. By July 2020, interest in Fortnite had decreased by nearly 70% as compared to October 2019. This lawsuit (and the front-page headlines it has generated) appears to be part of a marketing campaign designed to reinvigorate interest in Fortnite." A full court hearing will decide the matter and is scheduled for September 28th.

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