With the recent announcement of its new game, iOS game Battle of the Bayou, there’s a chance the game’s developer has more looming legal troubles than a hurricane on the Gulf Coast. A number of high-profile lawsuits have been filed against the game, which competes with wildly popular game Fortnite, and Apple is stepping in to help console a massive win for its client.
The Verge reports that Apple is forcing Epic Games to pay $550 million in damages in order to be released from a lawsuit Apple filed against the video game maker earlier this year. Since the game in question is a mobile title, it is legal to sell it through Apple’s stores as opposed to through the game’s actual console counterpart. This means that Apple has significantly increased the court costs owed to Epic Games by filing the new lawsuit.
The lawsuit filed by Apple describes Epic Games, Inc. as “a government contractor for Apple” and alleges that the company secured a gaming contract with Apple “solely to develop and market a game which, if it is successful, would have an effect on Apple’s popularity in games sold on its iPhone, iPod, and iPad devices.” The game Epic Games was originally working on with Apple is known as Code Hunter.
The lawsuit goes on to explain that Epic actually promised Apple to develop a more polished version of the game if Apple gave it $25 million. Despite this, Epic Games backed out of its agreement with Apple, reportedly wanting another $200 million. Apple rejected that $25 million offer.
After failing to strike a deal with Apple, Epic went and released the Fortnite clone for iOS at the height of Fortnite’s popularity. This turned out to be Epic’s worst-kept secret ever. As Epic reportedly said in their original lawsuit against Apple, there is a “reputation problem” with this game:
Epic has also calculated that consumer awareness of Epic Games’ game is predicated on the dominance of other competing games, which dwarf Epic Games’ game on iOS. As a result, Epic has conducted a full marketing campaign for its mobile game in order to differentiate it from the illegal imitation of Epic Games’ game performed by Epic’s competitor. Based on those actions, Epic estimates that the consumers have viewed more than 2 billion times the promotional materials for Epic Games’ game, and that these consumers’ perception of the moral and business integrity of Epic Games has been harmed.
Since Fortnite has been extremely popular, apparently, the damage done to Epic’s reputation has been immeasurable.
We reached out to Epic Games for comment, but did not receive a response at the time of publication