Earlier this month, the heated lawsuit between Apple and Epic reached a ruling. The case didn’t go the way Epic was hoping because even though the ruling does require Apple to allow alternative payment systems on iOS for in-app purchases, most other counts were found in favor of Apple. If you thought maybe Fortnite would be headed back to the iOS App Store after Apple’s sizable win in court, it looks like you were unfortunately mistaken.
On Twitter today, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney shared an email exchange he had with Apple in regards to getting Fortnite back on the App Store. Originally, Sweeney emailed Apple’s Phil Schiller, asking for the Fortnite development account to be reactivated and promising that Epic would “adhere to Apple’s guidelines whenever and wherever we release products on Apple platforms.” In addition, Sweeney said that if Apple allowed Fortnite back on iOS, it would relaunch Fortnite on Mac “as soon as possible.”
The reply he received, which was served through Apple’s lawyers, is clearly not the one he was hoping for. “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,” Sweeney said on Twitter. Epic has already filed an appeal for the judgments in favor of Apple, and essentially, Apple’s reply is stating that Fortnite won’t be allowed back on iOS until the verdict in this case is final.
“Apple lied,” Sweeney said regarding the company’s Fortnite rejection. “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.”
You can read Apple’s full reply to Sweeney’s request in the tweet embedded above, but the reasons Apple cites for not allowing Fortnite back on the iOS App Store include statements Epic made regarding the App Store, the ruling of the court which found that the decision to terminate Epic’s developer account was “valid, lawful, and enforceable,” and “Epic’s duplicitous conduct in the past.” So, even though it’s uncertain whether the court’s ruling will persist upon appeal, it’s pretty clear that we won’t see Fortnite back on the iOS App Store anytime soon.