Fortnite creators Epic Games and the goliath Apple have been locked in a heated legal battle since 2020 regarding the popular game’s creators discovering a loophole in which Apple could be cut out of microtransaction’s via an external link.
Unfortunately, for fans of the iOS version on the unreal engine, you’ll be disappointed as it may not return for at least five years, or even not at all.
In a spat of released emails and public tweets, it’s clear to see the relationship between the two companies is at an all-time low. Even after Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney publicly apologised and stated to Apple App Store leader Phil Schiller, “Epic promises that it will adhere to Apple’s guidelines whenever and wherever we release production Apple platform.” Although Sweeney did follow up with that, it “depends on whether and where Apple updates its guidelines to provide for a level playing field between Apple In-App purchase and other methods of payment.” Clearly not backing down completely for their reasoning for bypassing the App store process in the first place. All public documents can be found through the Epic Games Blog.
Elon Musk has publicly back Epic games stance on Apple’s App Store fees as
“a de facto global tax on the internet.”
Musk sometimes rial’s up the wrong foes but may have a point when you see Epic Games proposed microtransaction fees once they get back up and running (Image above), which they are trying to currently in South Korea.
Sweeney has also pleaded with Apple to reinstate Epic’s development account, which is necessary for any App creator to continue running on iOS. This is most likely not going to happen soon as the attorney representing Apple has specified this wouldn’t be considered until the legal war between the two “becomes final and non-appealable.” This being in the early stages, having happened in 2020, is a long way off. On Wednesday, a tweet went out from Apple, which said, “Fortnite will be blacklisted from the Apple ecosystem until the exhaustion of all court appeals.” Court cases such as this tend to drag on unless an agreement can be met between the two companies.
Epic has been cooperative through the process, though. In an email between the two representatives of the companies, Sweeny said, “though we can’t update the Fortnite version that users still have on their iOS devices, we’ve disabled Epic payments server-side and have paid Apple $6,000,000 as ordered by the court.” To no breakthrough, though, as Apple is standing firm with their views, standing strong that there are security risks with alternate payment methods through the App Store.
Whilst South Korea could be seeing a return to Fortnite through iOS in the future, it’s unforeseen whether the rest of the iOS users will be privileged to gain access to it once again.