Read the 2am email that Epic's CEO sent Apple execs declaring war over 'Fortnite'
- Last week, the wildly popular game "Fortnite" got an update on Apple and Android smartphones that allowed players to bypass the companies' digital payment systems. Instead of going through Apple and Google, payments went directly to the "Fortnite" studio, Epic Games.
- In response, Apple and Google pulled "Fortnite" from their digital storefronts and cited the update as a terms-of-service violation — which caused Epic to sue both companies.
- In a new legal filing, Apple revealed that Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney sent a 2 a.m. declaration of war to Apple CEO Tim Cook and other execs. "I'm writing to tell you that Epic will no longer adhere to Apple's payment processing restrictions," Sweeney said. "We choose to follow this path in the firm belief that history and law are on our side."
- Read the full email below.
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Apple and "Fortnite" maker Epic Games are in the opening stages of a heated legal battle, which started with "Fortnite" being pulled from Apple's iPhone and iPad App Store last week.
In the latest legal filing, Apple revealed an email sent by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney to Apple CEO Tim Cook and several other Apple executives. Sweeney sent the email at 2 a.m. PT, and in it laid out Epic's plan to cut Apple out of payments in "Fortnite" on iPhone and iPad.
"I'm writing to tell you that Epic will no longer adhere to Apple's payment processing restrictions," Sweeney wrote. "Today, Epic is launching Epic direct payments in 'Fortnite' on iOS, offering customers the choice of paying in-app through Epic direct payments or through Apple payments, and passing on the savings of Epic direct payments to customers in the form of lower prices."
Read the full email below:
Dear Tim, Phil, Craig, Matt, Douglas,
I'm writing to tell you that Epic will no longer adhere to Apple's payment processing restrictions.
Today, Epic is launching Epic direct payments in Fortnite on iOS, offering customers the choice of paying in-app through Epic direct payments or through Apple payments, and passing on the savings of Epic direct payments to customers in the form of lower prices.
We choose to follow this path in the firm belief that history and law are on our side. Smartphones are essential computing devices that people use to live their lives and conduct their business. Apple's position that its manufacture of a device gives it free rein to control, restrict, and tax commerce by consumers and creative expression by developers is repugnant to the principles of a free society.
Ending these restrictions will benefit consumers in the form of lower prices, increased product selection, and business model innovation.
Henceforth, all versions of Fortnite that Epic submits to the App Store will contain these two payment options, side by side, for customers to choose among.
We hope that Apple will reflect on its platform restrictions and begin to make historic changes that bring to the world's billion iOS consumers the rights and freedoms enjoyed on the world's leading open computing platforms including Windows and macOS. In support of this path, Epic's public explanation of our payment service will be neutral and factual to provide Apple with a chance to consider taking a supportive route and communicating it in a way of Apple's choosing.
If Apple chooses instead to take punitive action by blocking consumer access to Fortnite or forthcoming updates, then Epic will, regrettably, be in conflict with Apple on a multitude of fronts - creative, technical, business, and legal - for so long as it takes to bring about change, if necessary for many years.
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