Epic Games has filed a new motion in its ongoing legal feud against Apple, asking the courts to reinstate Fortnite to the App Store after an over 60-percent decline in the game’s daily active users on iOS, The Verge reported.
Following Apple’s removal of Fortnite from the App Store at the end of August, Epic went to the court with a motion to allow the developer to keep updating Fortnite until the feud was resolved. The judge denied Epic’s first motion, but Epic was allowed to keep its Apple developer accounts to continue to work on Unreal Engine so other game developers using the engine wouldn’t suffer profit losses during the process.
Fortnite’s Chapter two, season four rolled around in the meantime, and Epic couldn’t bring the update to iOS players, which caused a massive decrease in Fortnite’s player count. After losing over 60 percent of its iOS player base, Epic asked the court to reconsider its decision and put Fortnite back into the Apple App Store.
The antitrust lawsuit between Epic and Apple is scheduled to occur on Sept. 28, but the developer is hoping to be able to update the game early to retain its players. The main reason why Epic’s first motion was denied was that the developer failed to provide enough proof supporting how much harm Fortnite’s removal from the app store would cause to both Epic and its players.
Epic’s latest motion highlights the loss of players since the court’s previous decision and how it was related to the developer’s inability to update its iOS version of Fortnite to the latest season. Despite the number of platforms Fortnite is available on, iOS still makes up almost one-third of the entire player base, and Epic’s afraid that it may not be able to retain these churning players.
Though Apple allowed Epic to work on Unreal Engine, Epic isn’t able to support its other mobile games on the platform in addition to Fortnite. Battle Breakers, Infinity Blade 3, and the upcoming Spyjinx all face the same fate. Apple’s current stance also allows it to deny Epic’s applications for new developer accounts for up to a year.
Though it’s hard to tell if the case Epic built since the last time will be able to change the judge’s mind, Apple doesn’t look like it has plans to take a step back. The company argues that it had a supportive relationship with Epic prior to this incident, and it would be unfair to other developers on the platform to allow Epic to do whatever it wants—meaning introducing alternative payment methods. While what Epic did was in the players’ best interest, it was still against Apple’s Terms of Service, which gives Apple the right to take all the precautions it sees fit.