Apple files counterclaim against Fortnite developer Epic Games over breach of contract

Fortnite Hands On Hero
Fortnite Hands On Hero (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple files counterclaim against Epic Games over breach of contract.
  • Apple claims that Epic Games has earned over $600 million from its App Store.
  • No specified amount of damages has been made clear.

Apple isn't taking this legal battle with Epic Games lying down, as today, a counterclaim has been filed by Apple against the Fornite developer seeking damages. The counterclaim is filled with some pretty strong language and information that attempts to paint Epic Games in a pretty negative light.

Epic Games notoriously got banned from the App Store earlier this year after trying to work around Apple's App Store fee on in-app purchases, and since then has tried to position itself as a martyr fighting for the right of developers, but Apple has a different story.

"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."

Apple, in the past, had highlighted Fortnite in the App Store as part of its featured games, as well as a pretty big spotlight on the game when it first came over to iOS years ago. It stands to reason that the App Store does provide some value to developers, but many people have scrutinized and question exactly what that value is — according to today's filing, it's a lot.

"When Apple rejected Epic's request for a special deal, rather than abide by its long-running contractual agreements pursuant to which it has earned over $600 million, Epic resorted to self-help and subterfuge."

$600 million is a lot of money, and with reports that Epic Games missed out on $26 million in just a month since the Fortnite ban on iOS, it's not hard to believe that as this drags on, that number of missed potential revenue could skyrocket.

While Apple is seeking damages, the filing didn't specify any amount as of yet, but if Fornite made $600 million for Epic Games, Apple's cut of that would be quite significant.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.