In a legal filing earlier this week, Apple claimed that Epic’s Fortnite lawsuit is nothing but a publicity stunt. Epic responded to Apple’s claim saying it “cherry picked” Google Trends data in its filing.
Apple removed Fortnite after Epic shipped its own payment system in-app, which is in violation of App Store policies. Since then, the duo are in a legal battle, which Apple claims being a publicity stunt due to decrease in Fortnite’s popularity.
For reasons having nothing to do with Epic’s claims against Apple, Fortnite’s popularity is on the wane. By July 2020, interest in Fortnite had decreased by nearly 70% as compared to October 2019. This lawsuit (and the front-page headlines it has generated) appears to be part of a marketing campaign designed to reinvigorate interest in Fortnite.
But Epic contradicts Apple’s statement, citing its own user engagement data as proof of Fortnight users elevating. “Over the period of time that Apple cherry-picked for its Google search volume comparison (between October 2019 and July 2020), the number of daily active users on Fortnite actually increased by more than 39%,” Epic mentioned in its latest filing.
Apple claims Epic brought this case to revive supposedly waning interest in Fortnite, alleging a 70% decline in “interest” between October 2019 and July 2020. But Apple cherry-picked Google Trends data concerning Google search volumes, misleadingly starting from a one-week spike that took place in October 2019 when Epic ran an in-game event that captured global attention. Fortnite users increased over that period.
Apple hasn’t made any comments on Epic’s statement yet, but there seems no correlation between searching the game and playing or downloading the game. Apple and Epic are set for a court hearing on a preliminary injunction on September 28.