The scuffle between Fortnite creators Epic Games and Apple is continuing to escalate, with the popular battle royale title already removed from the iOS app store. As previously reported, a major point of contention between the two companies is the recent inclusion of a direct payment gateway within the Fortnite app—which infringes upon Apple’s App Store policies.
The game developers have even brought a lawsuit against Apple in the U.S., asking for a temporary restraining order against Apple. However, Fortnite remains conspicuously missing on the App Store, although users who previously installed the game can still reinstall the app (instructions here).
Apple is still open to re-accepting Fortnite on the App Store, although Epic will have to “comply with the App Store guidelines” first. Basically, Fortnite needs to remove the in-app payment gateway, and the only way to pay for in-game purchases will be to use the App Store’s gateway.
Despite that, Epic isn’t having any of it. In a FAQ page titled “#FreeFortnite”, the developers reiterated their desire to “freely express their ideas and to compete in a fair marketplace.” The statement also alleges that Apple’s policies are restrictive to a free market, arguing that even the World Wide Web wouldn’t have been approved by Apple due to their policies:
“Apple’s policies would have even blocked the World Wide Web if it had been invented after the iPhone, because Apple policies disallow running code not reviewed by Apple, accepting payments directly from customers, and accessing content not reviewed by Apple—all fundamental features of the web. These policies, together with Apple’s chilling enforcement strategy, directly impede innovation and invention of entirely new kinds of apps, games, and businesses.”
What does this mean for Fortnite gamers on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS?
Essentially, this means that Fortnite gamers on Apple devices—iPhones, iPads, and Macs—will lose access to the title’s upcoming seasons. Any new content won’t be available to Apple gamers, which will come as a big disappointment to many. New seasons usually contain map, visual, and reward updates, while we could also be seeing a Marvel-themed season soon.
“Apple is blocking Fortnite updates and new installs on the App Store, and has said they will terminate our ability to develop Fortnite for Apple devices. As a result, Fortnite’s newly released Chapter 2 – Season 4 update (v14.00), will not release on iOS and macOS on August 27.”
There’s more bad news, too. Fortnite’s much-loved cross-play feature, which basically allows players from all supported platforms to play with one another via online multiplayer, will also be taken away from Apple users, as reported by The Verge. This means that Apple gamers will only be able to interact with other Apple gamers, while PS4, Switch, PC, Xbox One, and Android players will continue to have cross-compatibility.
It’s worth noting that Fortnite has also been taken off the Google Play Store for the same reason, although Android users have the luxury of downloading/installing applications via other means. iOS/iPadOS users, on the other hand, can only install applications via the official App Store.