Fortnite Court Date Set for Next Year Between Epic Games and Apple

by in Fortnite | Oct, 9th 2020

After the first public hearing of Epic Games and Apple, the two massive companies moved forward with their legal battle with a Fortnite court date set. The two companies are officially going to battle it out in the legal system to see who will win.

Fortnite Court Date Revealed

It seems that neither company could agree outside of the courts to end this battle between the two, so there will have to be a trial to determine Fortnite and the App Store’s future. Unfortunately, the Fortnite court date is many months from now.

Daniel Ahmad revealed the announcement of the Fortnite court date on Twitter, who shared legal documents regarding the case for everyone to see. In the documents, the court date is May 3. That is just under seven months from now at the time of writing this post.

That is a long time to wait for the Fortnite court date, but it is no surprise given how long trials take and that companies have to wait for a decision to be made. Unfortunately, that date is just the trial’s official start, so its end is currently unknown.

Like in many legal battles, it is a situation where it will be potentially many more months after that or even years when the final decision is regarding the battle between Epic Games and Apple. And there is a lot that has to come before the actual trial itself next May.

Other Important Dates Leading to the Trial

As revealed in the shared documents, other steps and procedures will need to happen before getting to the official trial start date. For instance, the expert discovery cutoff date on March 31, is followed by the next hearing.

The next compliance hearing for the lawsuit that we can see in the documents is April 2. A week later, the companies will need to have a joint pretrial conference statement. Then a couple of weeks later, on April 21, there will be the pretrial conference.

That will precede the actual trial itself that will follow about two weeks later on May 3. The trial will begin early that morning at 8:30 a.m. sharp (likely based on PT) when the courts start to determine what will happen to Epic Games and Apple.

The trial’s focus will be on how Apple is potentially having a monopoly over app distribution with their forced, unwavering demand of taking a cut of 30% of all app sales that go through the company. Interestingly enough, both companies have agreed upon the trial terms.

How the Apple and Epic Games Trial Will Work

The upcoming trial in 2021 will be a bench trial rather than a jury one, as we might have expected before when the first public hearing happened. A judge’s trial will determine the results instead of having a jury of randomly selected citizens determine the outcome.

Depending on the judge, this could potentially be in favor of Apple. Of course, there are so many documents, evidence, and other factors that will come into play with the battle, so there is no telling what will happen in the trial.

All we know is that the California judges who oversaw the public hearing recently in this lawsuit were not too favorable towards Epic Games. While they may have understood the sentiment behind the lawsuit and changes, they disagreed with the Fortnite developer’s methods.

This had to specifically do with the very start of this entire legal battle between Epic Games and Apple, and what the former did to start it all. It all began in August this year when Epic Games decided to make some massive changes to how it does in-app purchases for Fortnite.

What Led to This Moment

The popular battle royale game changed on all platforms, not just Apple-owned ones, to allow for players to get a discount permanently on all V-Bucks purchases. Instead of paying roughly $10 for 1000 V-Bucks, all players would get a 20% discount from then on.

This meant paying about $8 for 1000 V-Bucks on all platforms, including PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, Mac, Android, and even iOS. This decision’s sentiment was because of Apple and Google, who charge exorbitant cuts of everything that goes through them.

For Apple, in particular, every game sold through the App Store and every in-app purchase that you make in one of the many games there will send 30% of it back to Apple just for letting the app be on its platform.

That is a lot of money over time, as the company is taking nearly a third of everything that a developer makes on iOS. Epic Games chose to circumvent this, presumably on its own, by allowing Android and iOS users to purchase V-Bucks directly from the developer.

Instead of using the App Store to do it, players could buy directly from Epic Games and save 20% in the process. But if they stuck to using the App Store or Google Play Store, they had the original prices. According to Apple, this happened without permission and broke the terms of service that Epic agreed to.

This led to the game being removed from the App Store and Google Play Store, and it didn’t take long after that for Epic Games to file this very lawsuit that will have a court date next year. Until then, it seems that Fortnite will remain absent from the Google Play Store, iOS, and now even Mac devices.


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