In response to Epic Games motion to force Fortnite back on the App Store, Apple filed an opposition brief and says “Epic started a fire, and poured gasoline on it.”
Apple Opposition Brief
In the 37-page brief [PDF] Apple maintains its argument that Epic only has to remove its violating in-app payment system for Fortnite to return to the App Store. Further, Apple goes so far as to suggest that Epic started this battle as a publicity stunt to bring more attention to Fortnite because of decreased popularity:
For reasons having nothing to do with Epic’s claims against Apple, Fortnite’s popularity is on the wane. By July 2020, interest in Fortnite had decreased by nearly 70% as compared to October 2019. This lawsuit (and the front-page headlines it has generated) appears to be part of a marketing campaign designed to reinvigorate interest in Fortnite.
Apple also says that iOS isn’t even a big market for Fortnite:
Since then, the game has continued to grow in popularity, although the iPhone has never been essential to its success. Epic has disclosed that only 10% of Fortnite consumers play regularly on the iPhone. “Epic has repeatedly told [Apple] that … Apple is the ‘smallest piece of the pie’” when it comes to revenue.
With respect to revenues, all competing platforms besides Google’s Android have a higher Average Revenue Per Daily Active User than does the iPhone, with some platforms—like Xbox and PlayStation—a full 70% or 40% higher than the iPhone, respectively.
A full court hearing is scheduled for September 28 to decide on Epic’s filing for a preliminary injunction.