Fortnite Won’t Return To iOS For Possibly Five Years Due To Appeal Process

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Fortnite Won’t Return To iOS For Possibly Five Years Due To Appeal Process

Recent developments in the Epic Games vs. Apple court case indicate Fortnite might not return to iOS for potentially five years.

Fortnite Battle Royale fans have anxiously awaited its return to the iOS platform. Unfortunately, the game's developer — Epic Games — has been in a brutal legal battle with Apple Inc. The proceedings stem from Epic's attempt to bypass Apple's unfair payment options. More than a year has passed since the court case kicked off, and despite an initial conclusion, Epic has chosen not to accept the ruling.

Apple Decides to Blacklist Fortnite

Epic filed to appeal the outcome, but CEO and founder Tim Sweeney stated that his company would abide by Apple's rules in the meantime. It seemed there was a glimmer of hope for iOS Fortnite players, but recent tweets from Sweeney state that Apple has blacklisted Epic Games from their platform pending the appeal.

Epic's CEO took to Twitter earlier today with an update regarding his company's standing with Apple. He wrote:

“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.”

Sweeney's recent Twitter activity pointed toward Epic's iOS reinstatement. Unfortunately, Apple has chosen to “blacklist” Epic Games until the appeal process is over. That could mean Fortnite's absence from the App Store for up to five years.

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“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,” continued Sweeney.

Sweeney included an email from Apple's legal team stating that the tech giant will not reinstate Epic's developer account due to various reasons.

It's not the news Fortnite fans were hoping to hear, considering the positive strides made since the lawsuit ruling came down. Epic Games paid $6M USD to Apple and removed the third-party payment option — the feature that started the lawsuit — from Fortnite on iOS.

Sweeney Questions Apple's Blacklisting Decision

Epic Games' CEO carried on with his Twitter tirade regarding Apple's blacklisting:

“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.”

He continued, “Apple always claimed they expected to win, and Apple has known about Epic's payment system since 2020. The only change since September 10, when Apple last offered to welcome Fortnite back, is that Epic appealed the decision and made ‘statements'.”

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Sweeney feels that Apple's decision to block Epic Games based on statements since the court ruling does not line up with what they've been saying along.

Epic Games' CEO rounded out his Twitter rant, stating that Fortnite should not be restricted and that they will fight on in the appeal process.

“Fortnite should not be blacklisted for challenging an agreement containing terms the court found to be unlawful which Apple forces on all developers as terms of access to iOS. We'll fight on. The need for regulatory and legislative action is clearer than ever before.”

The situation has not improved much at all since the judge ruled primarily in favor of Apple. Sweeney has said before that Epic would not seek to reinstate Fortnite on iOS until Apple made third-party payment options possible. He then decided to play by Apple's rules, but Apple had the final say. Now, it's likely that the two have reached an impasse, meaning Fortnite will continue waiting on the sidelines until further notice.

Featured Image: Epic Games

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Matt Pryor
Matt is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University. He appreciates all esports titles but primarily focuses on Fortnite and Call of Duty. Matt continuously analyzes gameplay and plays the games himself to better understand in-game decisions by the best players in the world.