'Fortnite' will return to iPhone in 2023, says Epic CEO

Posted:
in iOS edited January 2
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has suggested that 'Fortnite' will return to iOS and iPadOS in 2023. Here's how that could happen.

Tim Sweeney [Epic Games]
Tim Sweeney [Epic Games]


Since August 2020, Epic has steered clear of Apple and the App Store after breaking rules over payment systems, which led to a major lawsuit over the App Store's policies. In tweets marking the new year, it seems Tim Sweeney believes progress will be made during 2023.

Next year on iOS!

-- Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic)


In a December 31 tweet, Sweeney posts the brief message "Next year on iOS!" A continuing post replying to it has Sweeney sharing an image from within Epic's game "Fortnite."

Sweeney doesn't go into detail following the cryptic tweets, deciding instead to discuss mathematics, but the proclamation could be interpreted a number of ways.

An unlikely reconciliation

The most obvious would be a return of "Fortnite" to the App Store. Since the August 2020 update that added a secondary payment system alongside the existing Apple In-App Payments platform, the game has been banned from the App Store in its entirety.

There is a small possibility this could happen, however that would require a major reconciliation between Apple and Epic. Given the appeals process for the major lawsuit is still rolling along, that may take some time to complete.

Fortnite on an iPhone.
Fortnite on an iPhone.


In a December interview, Sweeney insisted that he'd fight Apple to the Supreme Court, if that's what is required to achieve victory. "We are simply going to fight as long as it takes to get what we're asking for," said Sweeney. "And if Apple would settle for that, we would settle it today."

In practice, it is the simplest result from a technical standpoint. All it would require is Apple to simply allow "Fortnite" back into the App Store, and for Epic to update its game.

Storefront fight

The likelier scenario is that Epic makes an iOS app store.

In Europe, the Digital Markets Act will force Apple to allow third-party app marketplaces to exist on iPhone and iPad. If uncontested by Apple, the law could result in Apple enabling that functionality in the fall of 2023, though resistance from Apple could push a change into 2024.

However, on December 13, reports surfaced claiming Apple is already working on changes to its software and services to comply with the rules, including enabling third-party app storefronts without going through the App Store itself.

Such activity from Apple is likely to be a preparatory move rather than something that will actually be introduced. Given Apple's continued resistance to side-loading and alternative app marketplaces from security and privacy standpoints, it's also the option that Apple will resist from implementing as much as possible.

Earlier in December, Sweeney continued railing against Apple and its policies, under the guise of it being anticompetitive. Sweeney likened Apple's management of the App Store to railroad monopolies blocking oil refineries from using the infrastructure.

AppleInsider will be covering the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in person on January 2 through January 8 where we're expecting Wi-Fi 6e devices, HomeKit, Apple accessories, 8K monitors and more. Keep up with our coverage by downloading the AppleInsider app, and follow us on YouTube, Twitter @appleinsider and Facebook for live, late-breaking coverage. You can also check out our official Instagram account for exclusive photos throughout the event.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,582member
    Good of him to claim credit for something that’s not in his control. 
    watto_cobraqwerty52
  • Reply 2 of 13
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,259member
    Idiot is missing the sweet Apple money!
    killroywatto_cobraqwerty52
  • Reply 3 of 13
    Just disable any purchase options on iOS and let people buy via EpicGames. 
  • Reply 4 of 13
    Do people, not kids, still play Fortnite?
    killroywatto_cobrauraharaqwerty52
  • Reply 5 of 13
    Fortnite already returned to iOS in 2022 through web browser streaming. 
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13
    Just disable any purchase options on iOS and let people buy via EpicGames. 
    It’s not that simple. Apple banned the developer account associated with Fortnight. So Epic has no way to resubmit the App. They have offered to removed the alternative payment option but Apple said they won’t reinstate the developer account until the legal proceedings have ended. If we are to believe Sweeney that will be sometime after the appeal to SCOTUS 
    killroywatto_cobrauraharaqwerty52
  • Reply 7 of 13
    omasouomasou Posts: 410member
    Allow side loading but sandbox them and remove access to all APIs returning PI & PPI.
    watto_cobradav
  • Reply 8 of 13
    danoxdanox Posts: 1,527member
    Ban them like Adobe Flash, there are companies that you can’t do business with particularly if you are a Contractor Walmart, Trump Enterprises, and Epic.
    DAalsethkillroywatto_cobrauraharadavmark fearingqwerty52
  • Reply 9 of 13
    omasou said:
    Allow side loading but sandbox them and remove access to all APIs returning PI & PPI.
    Don’t allow any sideloaded apps to use any Apple APIs, which are Apple’s intellectual property and require a license to use (ie the developer program). Let them build everything from scratch if Apple is so terrible.
    watto_cobradavqwerty52
  • Reply 10 of 13
    Ehhh… I’ll believe it when I see it. Nothing to see here, move along. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 13
    Idiot is missing the sweet Apple money!
    I think that doesn't compare to the China money he's getting. Life has been very good for him it seems.
    watto_cobrauraharaqwerty52
  • Reply 12 of 13
    DT36MTDT36MT Posts: 16member
    omasou said:
    Allow side loading but sandbox them and remove access to all APIs returning PI & PPI.
    Don’t allow any sideloaded apps to use any Apple APIs, which are Apple’s intellectual property and require a license to use (ie the developer program). Let them build everything from scratch if Apple is so terrible.
    Agree!
  • Reply 13 of 13
    davidwdavidw Posts: 1,742member
    Sweeney don't just want Fortnite back in iOS, Sweeney wants Fortnite back in iOS by way of the Apple App Store, without having to pay Apple a commission on their IAP sales or at least anywhere near a 30% commission.

    Remember, Sweeney claim is that Apple have a monopoly with their Apple App Store, not with iOS. And he is claiming that Apple App Store 30% commission is an abuse of that monopoly. If he thought being able to open an Epic Games App Store in iOS or being able to side load would lead to more profits for Epic Games apps, he would by now have an Android Epic Games App Store and every Epic Games would be available for side loading on Android and none of them in the Google Play Store. But he don't. He don't because he knows Epic Games will makes more profit from being in the Google Play Store, than if he were to open his own Android Epic app store and with side loading. Even after paying Google a 30% commission. He knows this because he did it with Fortnite when he removed it from the Google Play Store and made it available only by side loading, only to put it back in the Play Store for lack users wanting to side load. And as delusional as he seems to be, he has no delusion that it would be any different on iOS.

    Epic Games violated their Apple App Store policy when they provided a link to their own payment system inside their iOS app, solely for the purpose of getting banned from the Apple App Store and the PR it brought. Being able to provide a link to their own payment system is not what Sweeney is after when he sued Apple. He wants the courts to rule that Apple have a monopoly or at least monopoly power, with the Apple App Store and therefore charging a 30% commission, along with other App Store policies, are anti-competitive.

    Sweeney wants Apple to open up the Apple App Store, not iOS. Sweeney would much rather have an Epic Game App store running inside the Apple App Store, rather than run his own app store inside iOS. That's because he knows over 90% on iOS users will only get their apps from the Apple App Store. Just like how over 90% of Android users gets their apps only from the Google Play Store, even though there are over a dozen app stores and side loading, with Android.     
    edited January 3 muthuk_vanalingamdavn2itivguymark fearing
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