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Fortnite won't be back on the App Store until the Epic vs. Apple appeals process ends

There will be no chug-jugging on iOS and Mac devices until Epic and Apple are finished making their appeals.

Bryant Francis, Senior Editor

September 22, 2021

2 Min Read
Key art from Fortnite season 8. Several Fortnite characters, and Marvel character Carnage, stand on glowing ruins.

Apple has told Epic Games that Fortnite will not be allowed back on the iOS App Store until the various appeals for the results of Apple vs. Epic are concluded.

Epic CEO and co-founder Tim Sweeney shared the news this morning, noting that the appeals process could take up to five years to sort out.

Sweeney also tweeted that this response means Apple "lied" about to the court. "Apple spent a year telling the world the court, and the press they'd 'welcome Epic's return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else.'"

"Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users."

Sweeney shared an e-mail sent to Apple's Phil Schiller where he claimed that Fortnite has been updated to comply with the court's ruling in Apple v. Epic, and noted that it's paid Apple $6 million as ordered. The e-mail does also needle Apple about complying with the court's order to allow apps to include external links, and says that the remaining dispute would be "about competing stores."

Apple's lawyers were a bit more frosty. They repeated the court's decision that Epic had deliberately violated Apple's terms of service, and noted Sweeney's statement that Epic "wouldn't trade [an alternative payment system] to get Fortnite back on iOS." Describing Epic's conduct as "duplicitous," the letter states that Apple is not reinstating the company's developer account, and won't consider any requests for reinstatement until "the district court's judgment becomes final and nonappealable."

(It's worth noting here that Sweeney didn't precisely say that. He had a longer tweet lamenting a world where "two platform megacorps dictate software and world commerce to everyone," and saying he would not trade that away to get Fortnite back on iOS.)

Sweeney continued to tweet through it, calling this move a "loss for fair competition and consumer choice," saying that Fortnite could not be an iOS "metaverse competitor" alongside Roblox and PUBG Mobile.

Reading Apple and Sweeney's emails continues to feel like a jump between two different universes (neither of them a metaverse)--only this time, a US judge has made an assertion about what universe we're currently living in, and it's one where Apple was declared to not be a monopoly (though it did engage in 'anticompetitive' practices).

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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