Epic Games, the manufacturer of the “Fortnite” game, has submitted a request to issue a new court order against Apple, as part of its ongoing dispute with the technology giant over its policy on the App Store.
And Apple has removed the Fortnite game from the store after the game offered a discount on its virtual currency for purchases made outside the app, from which Apple receives a 30% deduction.
IPIC says the fees Apple charges are unfair.
And now the company says that Apple threatened to remove the game from the Apple developer program on August 28.
This would make the company unable to offer any other game or applications for it on Apple platforms.
The exclusive provision of in-app purchase is a condition for displaying the game on both the Apple App Store and Google – and each company gets the same percentage of sales.
After circumventing this rule, the game removed Fortnite from stores last week. Epic Games has filed separate court complaints against them.
The Fortnite game is still available to players on these platforms (iPhone or Android phones, for example), but players cannot obtain updates for the game, which are regularly rolled out elsewhere.
New players cannot download it.
Apple has given Epic a two-week period to return in-app payments if it wants Fortnite to return to its store.
In its most recent court papers, IPIC says it will “be irreparably harmed” by completely removing it from Apple’s developer program.
The ban will also include “Real Engine,” a popular graphics tool widely used by third-party developers for other games, movies and virtual reality – which means that those too will have to find an alternative tool.
In a statement, Apple said the rules apply to every app in the store and Epic has created the problem for itself by choosing to breach the terms.
“We will not make an exception for IPIC because it is not right for us to place their business interests above the guiding principles that protect our customers,” the company said.
IPIC, for its part, accused Apple of exercising a “complete monopoly” on more than one billion users of its operating system, which supports all Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad and Macbook.
Apple responded by saying that IPIC itself profited from being on the Apple App Store and “has grown into a multi-billion dollar company.”
Ipic isn’t the only game developer that disagrees with the Apple Store’s fee policy, but it may be the largest. Last June, an email app called Heyi took a stand against those policies.
“If we don’t like the deal that Apple is offering us – which is we either pay them 30% or get fired from the platform – what are we going to do about it? Where are we going?” Game developer David Heinemeyer Hanson told BBC News at the time.
And David added, “If you launch a new program today and it is not available on the iPhone, you will be invisible.”
The European Union is investigating whether or not the Apple App Store terms violate its competition rules.
And last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared before the Judicial Subcommittee on Antitrust in the United States House of Representatives, along with his counterparts from Amazon, Facebook and Google.
All of them were charged with abuse of their market leadership position.