Following a judge’s decision early last week and a notable injunction, we have an update on the legal feud between Epic Games and Apple from Epic’s top executive, Tim Sweeney. In a Twitter thread today, Sweeney discussed the ongoing fraught relationship between the two companies, revealing that Apple will not be restoring Fortnite to the App Store for the foreseeable future. His thread began with the claim that “Apple lied.”
In a process that could take years, Apple will “not reinstate Epic’s developer program account at this time” and “will not consider any requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgment becomes final and nonappealable.” This news comes after Epic Games filed for an appeal of the decision made in the lawsuit. Appeals of this kind can take years to finalize, so until the final verdict is rendered, don’t expect to be able to download Fortnite or any Epic product on an Apple device.
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. pic.twitter.com/QCD7wogJef— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 22, 2021
Sweeney’s claim of Apple’s dishonesty stems from the results of the initial verdict in Epic’s lawsuit. In a tweet, Epic’s founder and CEO spoke about how he feels slighted, saying, “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.” For context, Epic had enabled payment platforms outside of the iOS ecosystem in Fortnite, resulting in a lawsuit between the two companies over whether Apple was breaching anti-trust laws and monopolizing the gaming market.
Epic’s CEO posted a letter from himself to Apple Fellow Phil Schiller saying Epic has paid Apple millions of dollars due to the result of the legal battle, but also “disabled Epic payments server-side.” Apple was ordered in an injunction to allow for outside payment services to be used in apps, and was supposed to go into effect on December 9, though this is also wrapped up in Epic’s appeal.
With more court battles scheduled between these two, it’s not shocking that Apple has decided to hold off on allowing Epic to bring apps like Fortnite back to iOS devices. All we know for now is nothing will change for now regarding Epic games on Apple devices. You’ll have to get your Fortnite time in on any of the many other platforms where the popular battle royale game is playable.