Screaming gamers disrupt Epic vs. Apple hearing

From The Verge’s “The Epic Games v. Apple trial kicks off with kids screaming ‘free Fortnite’” posted Monday:

The Epic Games v. Apple trial is starting today, and it has begun with a court conference call full of kids screaming for Fortnite to return to mobile. The public call line allows anyone to dial in and listen to today’s proceedings, but the court didn’t manage to properly mute all participants for more than 20 minutes. The result was what sounded like a chaotic Discord call.

More than 200 participants were dialed into the public line, with many screaming “free Fortnite” or “bring back Fortnite on mobile please judge.” Others played Travis Scott tunes, chatted away, or advertised their YouTube channels.

The trial was supposed to begin at 11:15AM ET, and court clerks could be heard attempting to mute participants multiple times unsuccessfully. At 11:30AM ET, silence finally fell on the line in preparation for the court to hear Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney today.

For a brief period, though, Fortnite fans were pleading for the return of the game on the iPhone and iPad. Over the next few weeks, we’ll find out whether that’s likely to happen.

My take: There were 480 people on the line when I dialed in at 1:23 p.m. Eastern, but by then they had all been muted. (The public phone number and code are printed on the court documents here.)


  1. Gregg Thurman said:
    I wonder which of Epic’s PR teams orchestrated that? It isn’t as though gamers hang out on live Court streams.

    May 3, 2021
  2. Ken Cheng said:
    Epic could make it “free”, but I don’t think that’s the “free” the kids were screaming for.

    May 3, 2021
  3. Daniel Epstein said:
    Do you think if Epic loses the case they will submit a game which passes the App Store rules during the appeal? They have had that option open to them during the whole period before the trial.

    May 3, 2021
    • John Konopka said:
      Probably. They would make a lot of money doing that.

      May 3, 2021
    • Bart Yee said:
      Not a chance. Sweeney would lose face in the minds of Fortnite users, the gaming community that supports this reckless endeavor, and most importantly, his own mind and ego. Epic has ALWAYS had the option of reverting back to a compliant Fortnite version by eliminating the outside payment version or references to outside websites (which any competent gamer could find easily anyway). With the investment $$$$$ that Epic got last year, it covered the Fortnite IOS income that Sweeney chose to forego. Who knows whether that iOS (and Android) income though was already beginning to wane and Sweeney needed a lot of free PR to boost other platform income?

      May 4, 2021

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