'Fortnite' maker Epic Games is getting help from another deep-pocketed tech giant in its ongoing legal fight with Apple: Facebook is joining the fray

Ben Gilbert
·2 min read
Tim Cook Mark Zuckerberg
Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, right. AP; Francois Mori/AP
  • Facebook is throwing its support behind "Fortnite" maker Epic Games in its ongoing legal spat with Apple, the company announced this week.

  • "Facebook is committed to providing relevant information in the Epic Games litigation regarding how Apple's policies have adversely impacted Facebook and the people and businesses who use our services," Facebook said.

  • On August 13, the wildly popular game "Fortnite" got an update on Apple and Android smartphones that allowed players to bypass the companies' digital payment systems and pay Epic Games directly.

  • 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. The game is outright unable to be played on iPhones and iPads, and it's been that way for months. 

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"Fortnite" maker Epic Games just got a major shot of support in its ongoing battle with Apple from a deep-pocketed source: social media giant Facebook.

The company said it will provide Epic with, "relevant information...regarding how Apple's policies have adversely impacted Facebook and the people and businesses who use our services," in a blog post on Wednesday.

Facebook has gone on the offensive against Apple recently: It took out a full page ad in The New York Times criticizing Apple's latest OS update and claiming that it would hurt small businesses due to a change in ad policy.

Siding with Epic in its ongoing litigation with Apple is the latest move in that offensive. That support thus far does not appear to be financial in nature, more akin to the symbolic support offered previously by Spotify and others.

Epic Games and Apple have been engaged in a heated legal battle since August, when Epic introduced a new payment option to "Fortnite." 

The new option said "Epic direct payment," which is exactly what it sounds like: Instead of paying Apple, then Apple paying "Fortnite" maker Epic Games, you could pay Epic directly and it cost less for the same thing.

By doing this, Epic intentionally circumvented paying Apple and Google their respective cut of goods sold through their digital storefronts: 30%, an industry standard for digital platform holders like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and others.

In response, Apple pulled the game from the App Store and forbade Epic from issuing updates. Since the game is unable to be updated, and it's a live game, "Fortnite" cannot be played on iPhones and iPads as litigation continues. 

Got a tip? Contact Business Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@businessinsider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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