Fortnite maker asks judge again to return game to Apple’s app store

The creator of “Fortnite” is taking a new shot with getting a judge to bring the popular game back to Apple Inc.’s devices, this time sharing that roughly a third of players access it through the tech giant’s App Store.

Epic Games Inc. late Friday filed a preliminary injunction against Apple. Google GOOG, -3.09% GOOGL, -2.96% sued the closely held software developer for removing the game from its Google Play store the same day.

Apple and Google made the move after Epic introduced an in-game payment system.

Epic has said that more than 116 million registered “Fortnite” players have access to the survival-shooter game through Apple’s iOS operating system, making it the game’s largest platform. Epic said 63% played “Fortnite” this way. Epic has 350 million registered players.

Apple has declined to comment on Epic’s latest filing. Apple has stated Epic is in the middle of the fight and hopes to work with the software developer in the future.

Epic has filed a new complaint ahead of a hearing scheduled for Sept. 28 on its broader case, which seeks an end to what it describes as anticompetitive conduct with Apple’s App Store.

The dispute is the latest tussle between companies and app market place operators. Facebook, Microsoft, and Spotify have criticised Apple and their software developers charging.

Epic has said that Apple’s move on mobile devices has irreparably hurt the business.

A federal judge ruled Aug. 24 that Epic can continue to use those Apple tools needed to update its Unreal Engine, but that “Fortnite” would remain out of the App Store.

Epic has virtual goods inside “Fortnite”, including character costumes and special modes, while it is free to play. The continued loss of Fortnite as a gathering place for users in all platforms will lead Epics customers to defect.

Epic has lost its battle with apple and is being investigated by the Justice Department. Some legal experts claim Epic is currently facing an uphill battle.

Alex Schwarz

I write about video games, TV and movies.