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.

fortnite apple featured
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
23 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
23 months ago
Epic playing Fortnite while Apple is playing Counter-Strike
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Refurbished_ Avatar
23 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
23 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
23 months ago
Wow, this official statement sounds like any rant in macrumor's comment section.
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tRYSIS3 Avatar
23 months ago
Shouldn't have bitten more than they can chew
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

fortnite apple featured

Epic Games vs. Apple Trial Begins With Opening Remarks Underway

Monday May 3, 2021 9:05 am PDT by
The first day of the bench trial between Fortnite creator Epic Games and Apple is officially underway, with the companies delivering opening remarks before District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in a Northern California courtroom. The saga dates back to August 2020, when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic Games introduced a direct payment option in the app for its in-game...
fortnite samsung

Apple Says Epic Games 'Wants Us to Be Android, But We Don't Want to Be'

Monday May 3, 2021 5:43 pm PDT by
The highly-anticipated Epic Games vs. Apple trial kicked off today in a federal court in Oakland, California, with lawyers for both companies delivering opening remarks before District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. Lawyers for Epic Games attempted to paint the App Store as anti-competitive and monopolistic, noting that developers are forced to use Apple's in-app purchase system, and thus pay ...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic Games Began Planning Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple Two Years Ago With 'Project Liberty'

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:01 am PDT by
Ahead of its upcoming bench trial against Epic Games, Apple today filed 500 pages of documents covering findings of fact and conclusions of law, which basically summarizes the information exchanged between Apple and Epic, presents the relevant facts to the judge, and argues for the logical conclusions that should be drawn when law is applied to the case. Apple sticks to many of the talking...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO: Judge's Decision 'Isn't a Win for Developers or for Consumers,' Fortnite Not Immediately Returning to App Store

Friday September 10, 2021 10:37 am PDT by
The year-long dispute between Epic Games and Apple reached a milestone with Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers delivering a middle-of-the road verdict that isn't quite what Epic Games or Apple wanted. Apple will not be required to support third-party app stores as Epic Games pushed for, but Apple will have to let developers offer "buttons, external links, or other calls to action" to direct customers to ...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...
fortnite apple featured

Judge in Upcoming Epic v. Apple Trial to Limit In-Person Attendees

Friday March 26, 2021 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple and Epic Games lawyers are continuing to plan for their upcoming May 3 bench trial, and in a preparatory conference held today, the judge overseeing the case said that attendance will be limited due to the ongoing global health crisis (via Law360). U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has been planning for an in-person trial because she believes that the case is significant...
app store blue banner epic 1

Epic vs. Apple Takes a Twist As 35 US States and Department of Justice Weigh in to Back 'Fortnite' Maker

Friday January 28, 2022 4:27 am PST by
Apple is stifling competition with its monopoly on app distribution through the App Store, attorneys general for 35 states told a California appeals court on Thursday. The joint statement was submitted into the appeals process that is ongoing following the judge's decision in the Epic v. Apple lawsuit, with the attorneys general siding with the "Fortnite" video game maker on the issue,...
fortnite apple featured

Apple Won't Allow Fortnite Back in the App Store Until Legal Battle Ends Due to Epic's 'Duplicitous Conduct'

Wednesday September 22, 2021 9:49 am PDT by
Apple has no plans to allow Fortnite to return to the App Store in the near future, Apple's lawyers told Epic's lawyers this week. Further, Apple does not plan to consider requests for the reinstatement of the Epic Games developer account until the court's judgment is "final and nonappealable," a process that could span years. Apple provided this information to Epic Games after Epic CEO Tim...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
iphone 13 pro max display bleen

iPhone 14 Max Reportedly Weeks Behind Schedule [Updated]

Thursday May 26, 2022 7:25 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Max is currently behind schedule by around three weeks, according to Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu. Yesterday, Nikkei Asia reported that at least one iPhone 14 model was three weeks behind schedule due to the impact of lockdowns on Apple's supply chains in China, but it was not clear which iPhone 14 model this related to. Now, Pu has clarified that the model...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 15.5.1 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Wednesday May 25, 2022 9:42 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 15.5.1, a minor update to the tvOS operating system that first launched in September 2021. tvOS 15.5.1 comes about 10 days after the launch of tvOS 15.5. tvOS 15.5.1 can be downloaded over the air on the Apple TV through the Settings app by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌‌‌ owners who have automatic software updates...