Apple has fired the latest shot in its ongoing court battles with Epic Games, calling the Fortnite developer’s lawsuit against the company a “marketing campaign.”
When Epic filed its lawsuit last month, it already had a parody video of Apple’s ‘1984’ commercial ready to go once Fortnite was taken down from the App Store for attempting to circumvent the store’s 30-percent fees.
“For reasons having nothing to do with Epic’s claims against Apple, Fortnite’s popularity is on the wane,” the filing reads, which was picked up by Kotaku. “By July 2020, interest in Fortnite had decreased by nearly 70 percent 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 August, a judge denied a motion from Epic to add Fortnite back into the App Store temporarily while the court proceedings continued. Fortnite’s newest season, which is themed around Marvel characters, is missing its massive playerbase on iOS.
“Epic has engaged in a full-scale, pre-planned media blitz surrounding its decision to breach its agreement with Apple, creating ad campaigns around the effort that continue to this day,” Apple said in the Sept. 15 filing. “If Epic were truly concerned that it would suffer reputational injury from this dispute, it would not be engaging in these elaborate efforts to publicize 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.”
Epic has gone so far as to sell #FreeFortnite merch, attempting to recruit its fanbase in the fight against Apple.