In Apple’s latest filing, a 37-page opposition brief issued on September 16, the tech giant accused Epic Games of kicking off a legal battle in order to bring attention to its battle royale game, Fortnite. Apple also stated that this was due to a 70 per cent decrease in interest for Fortnite in July 2020, as compared to October 2019.
“For reasons having nothing to do with Epic’s claims against Apple, Fortnite’s popularity is on the wane,” Apple stated. “By July 2020, interest in Fortnite had decreased by nearly 70 per cent 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.”
However, Epic Games has refuted Apple’s accusations, claiming that the tech giant had “cherry-picked” its data in a new filing, per The Verge. The game developer cited its own user data, which revealed an increase in user engagement.
“Over the period of time that Apple cherry-picked for its Google search volume comparison (between October 2019 and July 2020), the number of daily active users on Fortnite actually increased by more than 39 per cent,” states Epic Games’ filing.
Earlier this month, Apple filed a countersuit against Epic Games, in response to the Fortnite developer’s latest injunction to restore the battle royale game on the App Store. The tech giant claimed that Epic Games “fired the first shot in this dispute”, adding that “its willful, brazen and unlawful conduct cannot be left unchecked”.
The first court hearing between Apple and Epic Games is currently scheduled for September 28.