Apple Accuses Epic Games of 'Willful, Brazen, and Unlawful Conduct' in Countersuit Asking for Breach of Contract Damages

As Apple and Epic Games prepare for a hearing on a preliminary injunction to decide whether Fortnite will be allowed back on the App Store as the legal battle between the two companies plays out, Apple has filed a countersuit against Epic requesting damages for breach of contract.

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In a court filing today, Apple says that Epic's lawsuit is "nothing more than a basic disagreement over money," highlighting the revenue that ‌Epic Games‌ has earned through the Fortnite iOS app and Apple's developer tools.

Although Epic portrays itself as a modern corporate Robin Hood, in reality it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing for the tremendous value it derives from the App Store. Epic's demands for special treatment and cries of "retaliation" cannot be reconciled with its flagrant breach of contract and its own business practices, as it rakes in billions by taking commissions on game developers' sales and charging consumers up to $99.99 for bundles of "V-Bucks."

For years, Epic took advantage of everything the App Store had to offer. It availed itself of the tools, technology, software, marketing opportunities, and customer reach that Apple provided so that it could bring games like Infinity Blade and Fortnite to Apple customers all over the world. It enjoyed the tremendous resources that Apple pours into its App Store to constantly innovate and create new opportunities for developers and experiences for customers, as well as to review and approve every app, keeping the App Store safe and secure for customers and developers alike.

Epic, says Apple, has used more than 400 of Apple's APIs and frameworks, five versions of the Apple SDK, has had its apps reviewed more than 200 times, and has pushed more than 140 updates to Apple customers. Apple says that it also provided advertising each time Epic released a new season for Fortnite, offering "free promotion and favorable tweets" to more than 500 million end users.

Apple goes on to explain the current Epic vs. Apple situation, and how Epic blindsided Apple with a "hotfix" to add the direct payment option and then the ensuing legal assault after Fortnite was pulled from the ‌App Store‌.

Apple says that Epic's "willful, brazen, and unlawful conduct" can't be left unchecked, asking the court for damages and an order that prevents Epic from furthering its unfair business practices.

Neither Mr. Sweeney's self-righteous (and self-interested) demands nor the scale of Epic's business can justify Epic's deliberate contractual breaches, its tortious conduct, or its unfair business practices. This court should hold Epic to its contractual promises, award Apple compensatory and punitive damages, and enjoin Epic from engaging in further unfair business practices.

Apple also has a point-by-point rebuttal for all of Epic's claims, denying all allegations in the complaint. The full court filing is embedded below, and for a court document, it offers an interesting and comprehensive look into Apple's perspective on the whole Epic situation.


Epic over the weekend filed its documentation for the preliminary injunction, claiming that it challenged Apple because "it was the right thing to do" and that it was "better positioned than many other companies to weather the storm."

Epic has claimed that it will "suffer irreparable harm" if Fortnite is not allowed back in the ‌App Store‌, but at the same time, ‌Epic Games‌ has refused to remove the direct payment option that's in violation of Apple's ‌App Store‌ policies. Epic wants the court to rule in its favor, allowing the app to stay in the store with the direct payment option that defies the rules, but that did not happen during the hearing for a temporary restraining order, and it's not clear if the court will rule differently after hearing new arguments from both Apple and ‌Epic Games‌.

The preliminary injunction hearing is set to take place on Monday, September 28.

Top Rated Comments

ArPe Avatar
12 months ago
Epic likes to portray itself as an underdog and Robin Hood figure and appeals to writers of yellow journalism to attack Apple. But let’s take a look at the facts.

Apple is owned by thousands upon thousands of shareholders round the world, many of them moms and pops waiting to retire. Tim Apple is worth only about $1 billion and is one of the most frugal CEOs in the world.

Epic is largely owned by giant monopoly Tencent that is only answerable to the CCP. It’s CEO Tim Swiney is said to be worth about $30 billion. That’s 30 times more than the best CEO on the planet.

So who is the bad guy here? Apple who created a platform and SDK that revolutionized the global economy or this game developer who only created a game engine and are trying to get a free ride so that Tim Swiney and Tencent can fill their pockets and help China circumvent bans on spyware apps like WeChat and TikTok?
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
12 months ago
Epic playing Fortnite while Apple is playing Counter-Strike
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Refurbished_ Avatar
12 months ago
They should just settle this in Fortnite. Tim, Phil, and Craig vs. Sweeney. Just Sweeney. Winner gets a chicken dinner at KFC.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WiseAJ Avatar
12 months ago
Epic backlash against Epic. They really wanted to bite the hand that fed them, (several times too).
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
matt_and_187_like_this Avatar
12 months ago
Wow, this official statement sounds like any rant in macrumor's comment section.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tRYSIS3 Avatar
12 months ago
Shouldn't have bitten more than they can chew
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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