Apple claims Epic lawsuit is PR stunt to “reinvigorate interest in Fortnite” •

The legal dispute between Epic Games and Apple over in-game microtransactions is expected to drag on for months, yet this week we’ve already heard some astonishing claims from Apple – suggesting Epic only started the lawsuit to bolster waning interest in Fortnite.

In an opposition brief filed to district court yesterday, Apple claimed the entire dispute was essentially a PR stunt to boost interest in the battle royale (via The Verge).

“For reasons having nothing to do with Epic’s claims against Apple, Fortnite’s popularity is
on the wane,” Apple stated. “By July 2020, interest in Fortnite had decreased by nearly 70 per cent 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.”

Later in the filings, Apple cites figures from Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, noting that “only 20 per cent of Fortnite users have accessed the game exclusively on Apple devices; and among active users, only 10 per cent play through iOS.

“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,” Apple added. “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.”

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It’s likely Apple has prepared these arguments in order to counter Epic’s claim that Apple has caused irreparable harm by booting Fortnite off the App Store. The suggestion is that Epic deliberately started the dispute to suit its own business interests, and the loss of Fortnite on iOS will not have a catastrophic impact on…