Fortnite on iPhone is Ready for Release Again, but Apple is Stopping It

Brite Bomber in Fortnite Wrecked key art shooting a gun next to an iPhone with the Epic Games Store logo on it.
Credit: Apple / Epic Games

Brite Bomber in Fortnite Wrecked key art shooting a gun next to an iPhone with the Epic Games Store logo on it.
Credit: Apple / Epic Games

Back in 2021, Apple and Epic Games, the developer and publisher of the hit game Fortnite, were locked in a crucial court case. After challenging Apple's restrictive in-app purchase policies, the courts ruled in Apple's favor on nine out of ten charges. However, they deemed Apple's anti-steering methods in the App Store as anticompetitive.

Now, with the European Union forcing Apple to allow sideloading and emulation—leading to a growing list of the best iPhone emulators—Epic Games is aiming to reintroduce Fortnite through an Epic Games Store storefront. But Apple is reportedly making this difficult.

While Apple appears determined to limit retro PC emulators, Epic Games reports that the smartphone manufacturer is also obstructing the release of a third-party storefront. In a post on Twitter, Epic Games stated, "Apple has rejected our Epic Games Store notarization submission twice now," citing that Apple's reasons included the similarity of Epic Games' 'Install' button to Apple's 'Get' button and the resemblance of In-App Purchases labels for both storefronts.

"Apple's rejection is arbitrary, obstructive, and in violation of the DMA," Epic Games added in a follow-up tweet. The official Twitter account also mentioned, "We've shared our concerns with the European Commission," indicating that further legal action against Apple may be forthcoming from the EU.

Despite Apple being entangled in multiple legal issues, including an antitrust lawsuit in the U.S., Epic Games remains determined to release the third-party storefront. The final tweet in the thread stated, "Barring further roadblocks from Apple, we remain ready to launch the Epic Games Store and Fortnite on iOS in the EU in the next couple of months."

While Epic Games isn't bringing Fortnite to VR anytime soon, it would be great to see the game return to iPhone—especially given that Apple's iPhone gaming initiatives haven't been very successful. Hopefully, these issues will be resolved soon, but it seems that the tension between Epic Games and Apple is far from over.

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