Will ‘Fortnite’ ever return to Apple’s App Store?
In a recent trial between Apple & Epic, the mega-company behind Fortnite, it was determined that Epic Games would have to pay a hefty fine for breaking Apple’s rules. Back in 2020, Epic created a direct payment option in its Fortnite app. In response, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store completely. Now, Epic Games will be paying Apple $6 million for breaching the company’s guidelines.
However, after the court ruling on September 1oth, Epic Games scored a win as well. Read how Epic Games has changed iOS App Store’s in-app purchase options and what that means for Fortnite in the future.
The court’s decision on Epic v. Apple
Epic won a major concession when it comes to allowing alternative in-app purchase options, but Apple won out on basically all other terms. Now, we’re all waiting for what this means for the future of Fortnite on Apple.
The trial, which began in May, followed Epic & Apple as they fought over Apple’s App Store policies and the question of whether the larger company hinders its competition. Epic had originally indicated that it would appeal the ruling.
The $6 million fee paid to Apple is based on the damages from the money made by Fortnite on the App Store after it violated Apple’s policies and offered it elsewhere, according to the report.
Meanwhile, Friday’s court ruling also ordered Apple to relax some of its restrictions involving app developers. However, the court found in favor of Apple in nine of ten counts, allowing Apple to continue charging 15-30% for its in-app payment system.
Now, Apple will have to allow apps to offer links to third-party payment options. However, it’s not apparent whether the specific payment method Epic used on Fortnite will be allowed. Yet, if apps now want to use another payment system, they can send users outside the app and Apple can’t stop them.
Will Fortnite return to Apple’s App Store?
As of now, it seems like Fortnite won’t be returning to the App Store right away. The court ruling never implied that Apple was required to restore the game, nor has either Apple or Epic made any statement on the app’s return anytime soon.
Actually, Epic has indicated that it disagrees with the ruling and won’t be restoring Fortnight until Apple offers “fair competition”. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted that Fortnite will return “when and where Epic can offer in-app payment in fair competition with Apple in-app payment.” Plus, Epic has already said it plans to appeal the ruling, which makes us question whether these new rules will even go into effect.
Furthermore, Apple has remarked that Epic is the only thing keeping Fortnite off the iOS App Store. The company announced that it would “welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else,” which means getting rid of its in-app payments system. Epic even tried to have the Fortnite app restored in Korea, but Apple rejected it again on the same grounds.
The return of Fortnite is up to Apple
Yet, in the end, it’s truly up to Apple when Fortnite will be once again added to the App Store. Even if Epic makes the required changes, Apple still needs to restore Epic’s developer account and approve Fortnite for distribution. Apple has made it clear that they are open to bringing back Fortnite, but not until they officially determine that Epic is adhering to their regulations.
It’s also unknown when exactly the new in-app payment rules will go into effect. The ruling doesn’t go into effect for another 90 days, and that’s assuming Epic’s possible appeal doesn’t put everything on hold. Most likely, Fortnite won’t return until Apple puts new rules into place. No one knows for certain when this will happen, and even then it’s up to both companies to agree that the game is compliant with the new rules.