Fortnite comeback to iOS goes off track as Apple terminates Epic Games Developer Account

Just in time when Fortnite, the popular battle royale game developed by Epic Games, was all set to return to the iOS platform in Europe through the Epic Games Store being added to the App Store in 2024, Apple blocked the move by terminating the Epic’s Developer Account.

Epic sees Apple’s action as a DMA violation, while Apple cites past mistrust with Epic

Just when we thought that the Epic vs Apple battle was done and dusted, Apple came up with yet another decision that might have sparked another legal battle. Epic Games took to their official website that their account had been terminated, although Apple had approved their developer account a few months ago.

This unexpected termination hinders Epic’s ability to develop the Epic Games Store for iOS and launch Fortnite. This move is seen as a violation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which requires Apple to allow third-party app stores. Epic Games argues that Apple’s actions undermine competition and discourage developers from utilizing third-party app stores, which now I feel like there might be some truth to it.

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Image via Epic Games/Apple

Now, Apple has its own reasons to give. In the email threads shared by Epic, we can see that Apple pointed out Epic’s public criticism of their proposed DMA compliance plan as a factor in terminating the developer account. Additionally, Apple cited instances where Epic had previously “denigrated” their developer terms and portrayed Epic as historically untrustworthy.

Speaking of the long-lasting battle, in August 2020 when the game was removed from the App Store and Google Play Store after the violation of a direct payments policy and was blacklisted for five years. Fortnite did return to iOS devices in 2022 through Nvidia GeForce Now. Thanks to the Digital Markets Act aimed at loosening store dominance and allowing alternative app stores, Tim Sweeney mentioned Fortnite coming to iOS in 2024 which was officially confirmed earlier this year.

The European Commission has probed Apple over unexpected termination

Well, it seems as if Apple can’t be expecting any time to relax, with the European Commission now investigating its decision to remove Fortnite-maker Epic Games from the App Store. Well, I’m not sure why would Apple take such a risk, especially in light of Apple being fined $1.9 billion earlier in the week for abusing its dominant position and not complying with EU App Store Rules.

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Image via Apple

The commission has asked Apple for further explanations regarding its termination of Epic Games’ developer account, which prevents the company from offering titles to Apple users or launching a competing app store on iOS in Europe the commission is also assessing whether Apple’s actions violate other EU laws.

If you ask me, the situation has taken a turn for the worse, and it’s the fans who are feeling the brunt of it. Players on iOS who were waiting for the game’s return will have to wait more or else try the alternative route, whereas Epic’s battle to stop the iOS monopoly will last longer.

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