Thursday, Jan 05, 2023, 14:59 iOS: Software

Epic Games Vs. Apple – Fortnite Will Return To The App Store After 2 Year Battle

Around the end of 2020, Apple kicked the popular game "Fortnite" off the App Store. The company's reasoning? Epic had enabled the game's players to choose alternative payment methods outside the realm of Apple's App Store payment model – consciously putting itself at odds with the App Store's Terms & Conditions. These terms officially state that in almost all instances, all purchases must transpire via Apple's purchase mechanism. Of course, this results in a significant disadvantage for developers and publishers: Apple keeps 30% of sales (or 15%, when the company gains less than a million dollar in sales in the App Store).

The Casus Belli
Epic had already foreseen its expulsion from the App Store before it occurred – and within hours, the company had already filed suit against Apple. Epic considers Apple a monopolist that abuses its dominant market position to pocket extra money. The game studio's developer account, which operated the Fortnite game, has since been banned. Just this week, however, Tim Sweeney wrote on Twitter that Fortnite would make a comeback to iOS in 2023:

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Background Unclear
It's highly improbable that Apple and Epic have finally met an agreement resulting in the reactivation of the latter's developer account. There was never an expectation for the legal battle to end quickly with a final verdict. However, it's possible that Sweeny is referring to new legislation form the EU, according to which: It would be possible for Epic to offer another "app store", not subject to Cupertino's commission, whilst simultaneously still listing its products, including Fortnite, for sale on the Apple App Store. Despite this legislation, it's still not clear what step Apple will take: Enabling external app stores on only iOS and iPadOS on devices sold in the European Union, or simply enabling them worldwide – despite the actual legislation's exlucisivity to the EU. Apple expanded its USB-C support to all devices after the passing of EU legislation which required the standardization.

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