Epic Games tries to get Fortnite back on mobiles in the UK

Two filings from Epic Games aim to have Fortnite’s removal from the Apple and Google stores overturned, at least in the UK.

Ever since Fortnite was banned from Apple and Google’s respective digital storefronts, Epic Games has been doing everything it can to have the bans reversed (aside from adhering to the storefronts’ rules).

While its lawsuit with Apple currently won’t be heading to trial until July, at the earliest, Epic has sought to at least have Fortnite be reinstated on storefronts in the UK.

To do this, it has filed claims against both Apple and Google to the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal, saying that the companies abused their positions and engaged in anti-competitive practices.

There are some slight differences between the two arguments, but Epic ultimately asks for Fortnite’s removal from the stores to be deemed unlawful and demands that Apple and Google allow Fortnite back and give users the option for direct payments (the very thing that got the game banned in the first place).

In a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, Epic Games’ Tera Randall, VP of communications and policy, said ‘We believe that this is an important argument to make on behalf of consumers and developers in the UK and around the world who are impacted by Apple and Google’s misuse of market power.

‘Epic is not seeking damages from Apple or Google in the UK, Australia or the US, it is simply seeking fair access and competition that will benefit all consumers.’

Apple has responded to the new filings, reiterating that it has no intention of backing down.

‘In ways a judge has described as deceptive and clandestine, Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines that apply equally to every developer and protect customers. Their reckless behaviour made pawns of customers, and we look forward to making this clear to courts in the UK.’

So far, it seems as if Epic has done very little to appeal to the courts in the US. In September, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers seemed to side with Apple, telling Epic ‘You were not forthright. You were told you couldn’t do it, and you did,’ so it seems unlikely that it will fair any better in the UK when it makes its case on January 21.

Last year, Epic even attempted to rope in Fortnite’s player base, pushing the hashtag FreeFortnite, creating a parody of Apple’s famous 1984 advert clearly meant to vilify the company, and making an in-game event all about it.

The move was criticised for how it was potentially taking advantage of Fortnite’s younger players, since kids are unlikely to understand the full nature of the dispute.

Even though the mobile versions can no longer receive updates, Epic Games doesn’t appear to have been affected financially that badly, if at all.

Season 4 was entirely Marvel focused and Epic clearly has enough money to bring in even more crossover characters for Season 5, including but not limited to the Mandalorian, Master Chief, and the Predator, who will be debuting next week.

Earlier this month, the company announced that it had purchased an entire shopping centre, with the intention of turning it into a new headquarters.

Fortnite is available on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.

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