The hugely popular game Fortnite has been banned from Apple’s App Store as a legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, creator of Fortnite, rumbles.
Played by millions of gamers around the world, Fortnite is one of the most popular online games of all time, but Apple users will no longer be able to play it on their devices.
Fortnite was originally removed from Apple’s App Store for violating policies around in-app payments.
Apple has its own payment system that charges a 30% commission on all in-app purchases, but Fortnite has created its own payment method which in turn bypasses Apple’s commission fees.
Apple then banned Fortnite for violating its terms, which led to Epic Games taking Apple to court over allegations of operating the App Store as a monopoly.
A US court said Epic had failed to demonstrate that Apple had an illegal monopoly. However, the judge also said that Apple cannot force app developers to use their payment system.
As a result, Apple and Fortnite are appealing parts of the judgment – a process that could take five years to come to a conclusion.
This means that the popular game will not be available for new users to download to iPhones or other Apple devices.
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, expressed his frustration with the situation online: “Apple spent a year telling the world, the court and the press that they would welcome the return of Epic to the App. Store if they agreed to play with the same rules as everyone else. Epic agreed, and now Apple has given up on yet another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users. Mr. Sweeney wrote on Twitter.
Mr Sweeney also posted correspondence between Epic Games and Apple to substantiate his claims:
Apple lied. Apple spent a year telling the world, the courts and the press that they “would welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agreed to play by the same rules as everyone else.” Epic agreed, and now Apple has given up on yet another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users.
– Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 22, 2021
With Apple giving no sign that it will soften its stance, it looks like Fortnite will not be available for download on Apple devices for the long term. If you have already downloaded the game to your Apple device, you will still be able to play it, but you will not receive any updates.