Following a lengthy legal battle between Apple and Fortnite developers, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has accused Apple of reneging its promise to reinstate the battle royale to the iOS App Store.
“Apple lied,” he said in a statement via Twitter. “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.”
Apple lied. 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.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 22, 2021
“Late last night, Apple informed Epic that Fortnite will be blacklisted from the Apple ecosystem until the exhaustion of all court appeals, which could be as long as a 5-year process.”
Crucially, it looks as though Apple will not even consider reinstating Fortnite to its iOS ecosystem or the iOS App Store until the court judgement becomes final. This would leave iOS Fortnite fans waiting for at least five years until the battle royale returns… if at all.
Of course, Sweeney is having none of it – accusing Apple of “anticompetitive” behaviour and a “loss for fair competition and choice”.
“This is another extraordinary anticompetitive move by Apple, demonstrating their power to reshape markets and choose winners and losers,” he said via Twitter. “It’s also a loss for fair competition and consumer choice.
“The loss of Fortnite as an iOS metaverse competitor alongside Roblox and PUBG Mobile has significant implications for the evolution of the new medium of our era.”
“Why did Apple break its promise to allow Fortnite back under its rules? Apple cites three reasons: 1) they won, 2) Epic “statements since the court’s decision”, and 3) the way we launched direct payments in 2020.”
“Apple always claimed they expected to win, and Apple has known about Epic’s payment system since 2020,” he said. “The only change since September 10, when Apple last offered to welcome Fortnite back, is that Epic appealed the decision and made ‘statements’.”
It’s unclear where Epic Games will go from here. But it looks as though Fortnite won’t be back on iOS for a long time to come.
NME has reached out to Apple for comment.
Meanwhile, the upcoming football game FIFA 22 is available to play right now for fans with access to EA Play.