Fortnite to Return to iOS in Europe Following App Store Changes

Epic Games plans to bring its ‌Epic Games‌ Store to the iPhone and the iPad under Apple’s new alternative app store policy in the European Union, ‌Epic Games‌ announced today.

The ‌Epic Games‌ Store will include popular game Fortnite, which means ‌iPhone‌ and ‌iPad‌ users will be able to install and play the title without having to use a cloud gaming service. Fortnite has been banned from the iOS App Store for the last several years due to the legal dispute between Apple and ‌Epic Games‌.

Fortnite will return to iOS in Europe in 2024, distributed by the upcoming @EpicGames Store for iOS. Stay tuned for details as we figure out the regulatory timeline. We’ll continue to argue to the courts and regulators that Apple is breaking the law.

— Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom) January 25, 2024

Even as Epic is planning for an ‌Epic Games‌ app store on iOS, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney has been criticizing Apple’s planned changes. Sweeney said that Apple’s ‌App Store‌ changes are a “devious new instance of malicious compliance” and are aimed at thwarting the Digital Markets Act.

Apple’s plan to thwart Europe’s new Digital Markets Act law is a devious new instance of Malicious Compliance.

They are forcing developers to choose between App Store exclusivity and the store terms, which will be illegal under DMA, or accept a new also-illegal anticompetitive…

— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) January 25, 2024

Apple is charging an 0.50 euro fee per user per year for apps installed outside of the ‌App Store‌, but there are no ‌App Store‌ commissions or in-app fees. While Apple is waiving fees for the first one million installs, the 0.50 per user fee will cost app developers like ‌Epic Games‌ a notable amount of money. Sweeney called Apple’s payment “junk fees.”

Sweeney also criticizes Apple for the notarization process that will potentially allow it to reject alternative app stores from iOS. He claims that Apple could block Epic from launching an ‌Epic Games‌ Store and distributing Fortnite through it, but there have been no signs that Apple would do so.

‌Epic Games‌ is “determined” to launch on iOS and compete with the ‌App Store‌, said Sweeney, and while ‌Epic Games‌ is planning for a store on iOS, the company says it will continue to “argue to the courts and regulators that Apple is breaking the law.”

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