Apple Claims Epic Games CEO Wanted 'Special Deal' in Fortnite App Store Dispute

Epic Games launched the #FreeFortnite campaign after the game was removed from Apple's App Store.
Epic Games launched the #FreeFortnite campaign after the game was removed from Apple's App Store. / Photo by Epic Games

Apple has retaliated against Epic Games by claiming that CEO Tim Sweeney requested a "special deal" exclusive to Fortnite.

The legal saga between Epic Games and Apple began on Aug. 13 when Fortnite was removed from the Apple App Store. Epic Games instituted a direct payment option in Fortnite on iOS, circumventing Apple's 30% royalty cut and Apple responded by pulling the game from the store. The following day, Google followed suit by removing Fortnite from the Google Play store.

Epic Games quickly responded by taking legal action against Apple, and you can find the Aug. 13 and 17 filings on their #FreeFortnite page. The Aug. 17 filing stated that Epic Games would suffer "irreparable harm absent a preliminary injunction."

Since iOS and Google Play users won't be able to update their Fortnite apps since the game has been pulled from the stores, they won't be able to play online after the game updates into Season 4 on Aug. 27. Thus, Epic Games has announced the #FreeFortnite Cup, beginning Aug. 23, which will be the last chance for users on all platforms to compete until this issue gets resolved.

The latest response from Apple came on Aug. 21. Apple's legal team contends that Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney was requesting a "special deal" which would allow for an Epic Games Store app in the Apple App Store, providing consumers the opportunity to purchase directly from Epic Games. Apple implies that this move was Epic Games attempting to get special treatment around Apple's policies.

Sweeney, however, finds this notion to be "misleading", and released full email transcripts on Twitter.

In the original email to Apple from June 30, Sweeney stated "we hope that Apple will make these options equally available to all iOS developers in order to make software sales and distribution on the iOS platform as open and competitive as it is on personal computers."

These new details will potentially shift the narrative that Epic Games was solely focused on their own profits.