More than three years after Epic Games removed Fortnite from Apple devices, the publishers/developer is ready to bring it back, but players in the U.S. will have to wait a while longer.
Epic has confirmed it will bring the popular title back to iPhones and iPads in EU markets following Apple’s announcement that it will enabled third-party stores for iOS users.
A timeline for the game’s return hasn’t been set—and Epic’s much-publicized feud with Apple is far from over. Even in its announcement that the game would be returning, Epic added, “We’ll continue to argue to the courts and regulators that Apple is breaking the law.”
The key to the return to Apple devices in parts of Europe is the EU’s Digital Markets Act, which (among other things) allows developers to bypass Apple’s app store for payments. That law goes into effect March 7.
While it’s enough to get Epic back on board, the game maker is still taking shots at Apple. CEO and founder Tim Sweeney, in a separate tweet, called Apple’s announcement a “devious new instance of Malicious Compliance”.
“Apple proposes that it can choose which stores are allowed to compete with their App Store. They could block Epic from launching the Epic Games Store and distributing Fortnite through it, for example,” he added. “There’s a lot more hot garbage in Apple’s announcement. It will take more time to parse both the written and unwritten parts of this new horror show.”
Even without a significant mobile presence, Fortnite ruled supreme in December 2023, topping the as player engagement charts on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox, according to Circana. Some 36% of active PS5 players and 31% of active Xbox Series players played Fortnite at least once during December. That was a 5% bump on Sony’s platform and a 3% increase on Microsoft’s.