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'Fortnite' Maker Epic Games Wanted 'Side Letter' To Create Own Game Store, Says Apple

'Fortnite' Maker Epic Games Wanted 'Side Letter' To Create Own Game Store, Says Apple
The maker of the popular video game 'Fortnite' – Epic Games, wanted 'side letter' to create own game store, alleged United States based tech giant Apple, which had removed the game from its app store last week for violating its rules. Epic Games has filed a law suit against Apple over the issue. 
The chief executive of Epic Games has sought a "side letter" from Apple aimed at creating its own game store within the App Store, alleged the iPhone maker, adding that acceding to that request would have upended the commission-based business model of its app store.
This was disclosed by Apple in a court filing on Friday. In that filing Apple request a federal judge in California to not agree to the request of the "Fortnite" maker Epic Games to order Apple to keep the game on its app store till such time that the dispute between the two companies about the in-app payment rules of Apple gets resolved.
There was no comment available from Epic over the issue.
Following the decision of Epic to roll out its own method of making purchases within the game, it was removed by thee iPhone maker from its App Store over charges that the move violated the rules of the app Store. Under the rules, Apple's in-app payment system has to be used by games and other apps for financial transactions on which Apple charges a commission of between 15 per cent and 30 per cent.
A case against Apple was filed by Epic over the removal wherein the game maker claimed that the antitrust laws were violated by the rules of the App Store.  A public relations campaign, with a #FreeFortnite social media push and a parody of Apple's famous "1984" ad has laos been launched by Epic.
While alleging that Epic CEO Tim Sweeney asked for an exception to its rules to create an "Epic Games Store" inside the App Store, Apple attempted to portray that dispute as part of a broader business disagreement in its filing before US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in Oakland. Apple said in court filings that Sweeney criticized how Apple runs the store only after the request for an exemption from Epic Games was rejected.
An email was sent to Phil Schiller, Apple's App Store chief, by Sweeney in which he said that Epic would no longer comply with the payment rules. Apple said. the game maker rolled out its own payment system a few hours later.
A court order to block Apple form removing its "Fortnite" from the store has been sought by Epic. The video game maker said that the company would have to face irreparable harm by the action of Apple as well as Apple's threat to terminate the company's developer account. Epic appealed to the court to pass an order on Apple to retain the game on its App Store till such time that the case goes on. 
"Epic knew full well that, in circumventing Apple's processes and breaching its contracts, it was putting its entire relationship with Apple - including its Unreal Engine and other projects - at serious risk," Apple wrote in its filing. "Epic made the calculated decision to breach anyway, and then run to this Court to argue that its customers were being damaged."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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