Big iOS Changes Hint That Fortnite Is Ready To Return To The App Store
It’s the sordid saga we never thought we’d see the end of, but could Fortnite Finally ready to return to the App Store? Just imagine jumping off the Battle Bus to explore the revamped Chapter 4 from the comfort of your bathtub.
Until Microsoft and Sony went head-to-head over the Activision Blizzard deal, the clash of the titans between Apple and Epic Games was one of the biggest scandals to grace the gaming world. Although the law has fallen on Apple’s side, there may be another twist on our side Fortnite fidget.
When will Fortnite return to the App Store?
According to a report from Bloomberg (via Dot Esports), New regulations can see Fortnite return to the iPhones and iPads in the European Union. Unfortunately, it may not be until 2024.
This silver lining on the Fortnite horizon comes from Apple’s plans to allow third-party app stores as an “alternative” option on the main App Store. It comes in the wake of the EU’s upcoming plans for the Digital Markets Act, which stops the likes of Apple and Google from “gatekeeping” customer choices.
Apple currently runs a closed ecosystem where users cannot change their operating system or sideloading apps. There is the option to jailbreak your phone, but since it is not approved by Apple, it was a gray area that leaves your phone exposed to hackers.
It is true that you can play technically Fortnite already on iPhone, but it involves a complicated method to use Xbox Cloud Gaming. Remember we were warned it would be “years” until Fortnite was back on the App Store, this time frame actually fits.
What happened between Apple and Epic Games?
Things came to a head in August 2020 when Epic tried to circumvent Apple’s 30% cut of in-game purchases. When it launched its own in-game payment system, Apple claimed the developer violated the App Store’s Ts & Cs — and then promptly pulled Fortnite from its storefront.
There was a bitter back and forth, and we all remember that 1984 parody that stuck a middle finger to the power of Apple. While most sided with Epic as the little guy (in relative terms), it was Apple who won out in the end.
In December 2021, courts ruled in favor of Apple on nine out of 10 counts and demanded that Epic repay $3.6 million. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said at the time Fortnite won’t return until “Epic can offer in-app payment in fair competition with Apple in-app payment, and pass the savings on to consumers.”
The Digital Markets Act will for the time being only apply to EU countries. Still, Sweeney has been a champion of similar changes in the US, where it’s known as the Open App Markets Act.
A whole year more of there is a Fortnite-shaped hole in the App Store is a mind-boggling idea to wrap your head around. Fortnite mobile has been sorely missed by iPhone owners, but unfortunately we haven’t won yet.