Now Apple is suing Epic Games for breach of contract

Core principles. 

The legal wrangling between Apple and Fortnite maker Epic Games has taken yet another turn, with a fresh lawsuit layer added to the already messy mix.

Apple has now filed a counter-lawsuit alleging Epic Games broke the terms of its App Store contract by offering a means of taking payment outside of the company's official store channels (thanks, The Verge). It is seeking damages in response.

"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 said in its new legal filing.

"Epic's flagrant disregard for its contractual commitments and other misconduct has caused significant harm to Apple. Left unchecked, Epic's conduct threatens the very existence of the iOS ecosystem and its tremendous value to consumers."

This latest legal manoeuvre comes in response to Epic's request at the weekend for an injunction designed to restore Fortnite to the App Store while its original lawsuit continues (likely into next year).

That original lawsuit is the one Epic filed immediately after Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store in response to Epic's addition of a direct payment option which circumvented the percentage Apple took on all iOS purchases.

Apple was ready to pull Epic Games' developer accounts from iOS and Mac, limiting Epic's ability to support Unreal Engine. In an initial hearing, a temporary restraining order was granted to prevent Unreal Engine from being affected, while not to restoring Fortnite itself.

Epic Games has until 18th September to respond to Apple's counter-suit, before the pair return to court for the next instalment in their legal battle on 28th September.

Meanwhile, Fortnite's new Marvel season remains unavailable on iPhone, iPad and Mac. Players logging into the game are stuck on the game's previous season - and will be until the game is restored to the App Store.

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and all the stealth Destiny articles.

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