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Read Epic CEO’s 2 am mail to Apple CEO Tim Cook declaring war over Fortnite

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Apple and Fortnite game maker Epic Games have been at war over App Store rules. The tussle started after Epic Games released an updated version of Fortnite that circumvented the payment options in Apple’s App Store and Google Play. This led Apple to remove the game from App Store. The company said that the new version violated App Store rules as they require games and other apps to use Apple’s in-app payment system. Epic hit back with a lawsuit soon after.
Now in the latest legal filing, Apple has shown an email sent by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney to CEO Tim Cook and several other senior executives at 2 a.m. PT. The email sent on August 13 among other things says that Epic would no longer comply with Apple’s payment rules. Here’s the email as it appeared https://cdn.vox-cdn.com website. The email is part of the series of emails shared by Apple as evidence in the case.
From: Tim Sweeney <[email protected]>
Date: August 13, 2020 at 2:08:53 AM PDT
To: Tim Cook <[email protected]>, Phil Schiller <[email protected]>, Craig
Federighi <[email protected]>, Matt Fischer <[email protected]>,
Douglas <[email protected]>
Subject: Fortnite payments
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.
Tim Sweeney
Epic Games

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