Fortnite (Probably) Won't Be On The App Store For A Long Time
The battle lines have been drawn and both sides have taken up arms. After a few months of silence on the whole Apple vs. Epic court drama, we're jumping off the Battle Bus to find out what's going on with Fortnite. As Epic's battle royale favourite remains a juggernaut of the gaming scene, there's a Fortnite-shaped hole on the Apple App Store.
When we last left things, Epic has scored a milestone victory, with courts ruling that Apple couldn't stop developers using their own external payment systems. It all sounded pretty positive, but remember the ruling actually fell in Apple's favour. As well as ruling against Epic's claim that Apple has a monopoly, the courts decided Apple is within its rights to collect a percentage of in-app purchases as a benefit of hosting on the App Store.
What's going on with Epic and Apple now?
Namely, Epic was reprimanded for apparently breaking its contract with Apple. With Apple being allowed to collect its monies for in-app purchases from Fortnite, Epic "knowingly" broke its agreement with the tech giant. Posting on Twitter, Epic CEO says "Apple lied". An enraged Sweeney claims that Apple spent a year on the PR march - promising that it would let Epic back on the App Store if the developer backed down.
In a twist of fate, Epic has reportedly bowed to Apple, but is still blacklisted from iOS and Mac platforms. More worrying, it could be up to five years before we get to play Fortnite on your iPhone.
A letter from Apple lawyer Mark A. Perry (published by Sweeney), Apple says, "In light of this and other statements since the court’s decision, coupled with Epic’s duplicitous conduct in the past, Apple has exercised its discretion not to reinstate Epic’s developer program at this time. Furthermore, Apple will not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgement becomes final and nonappealable."
Will Fortnite ever return to the App Store?
Earlier this month, Sweeney said that Epic had paid the court-ordered $6 million it owed to Apple. It's hard to believe it's been over a year since Apple first gave Epic's apps the boot, however, the prospect of another five years of missing out on Fortnite is baffling.
By the sounds of it, a vengeful Apple is flexing its muscles against for Epic. For a while, it looked like the little guy would win. As the months go on and the flames continue to be fanned by fans and the press alike, there's no end in sight for the Apple vs. Epic debacle.
Epic seems increasingly on the back foot, and while it was once sticking the middle finger to Apple with snarky ads and boasting about the support of gamers, the sheer might of Apple has chipped away at this like some sort of real-life Imagined Order. Sadly, we don't think this is one that Epic is going to win anytime soon.
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