'Fortnite' will return to the iPhone -- but only in the EU

Posted:
in iOS edited February 16

Three years after Apple kicked Epic Games off the App Store for breaking terms of business, it has allowed the firm to return with a developer account -- and "Fortnite" -- for use within the EU.

Still from the Epic Games-produced ad criticising Apple for being like the book a1984
Still from the Epic Games-produced ad criticizing Apple for being like the book a1984



Apple cancelled the Epic Games developer account in August 2020, after the gaming firm violated App Store agreements in what turned out to be the start of a years-old legal battle. Apple wanted to remove all of Epic's developer accounts, but a judge insisted that removing its Unreal Engine account would have harmful effects on its countless users.

Epic had asked Apple to allow it a developer account when it wanted to sell apps in Korea. Apple refused. The company said that it would only allow Epic Games back when it "agree[s] to play by the same rules as everyone else."

Then while Epic Games its legal case against Apple, the EU introduced the Digital Markets Act. As a consequence, Apple has had to allow for alternative app stores within the region -- and that means not stopping Epic Games from becoming a recognized developer in the region.

"We've received our Apple Developer Account and will start developing the Epic Games Store on iOS soon thanks to the new Digital Markets Act," says Epic Games in an announcement. "We plan to launch in 2024. Epic Games Sweden AB will operate the mobile Epic Games Store and Fortnite in Europe, with the Store team leading development."

There's been no announcement about when "Fortnite" may return, but the new EU laws are expected to be enforced from March 2024.

Opening up third-party app stores



The Epic Games disagreement with Apple that resulted in its removal as an App Store developer turned out to be a long-planned campaign against Apple's fees. Epic Games said that it should be able to sell games and in-app purchases directly to users rather than pay Apple a cut of each transaction.

Ultimately the European Union agreed that Apple's App Store should allow alternative payment systems, and this is at the heart of the Digital Markets Act. Apple now has to allow such alternatives and even whole third-party app stores, although it has of course made every effort to persuade developers to stay with its existing system.

So Epic Games may have lost its court case but it would appear to have won the war -- except that its CEO Tim Sweeney doesn't see it that way. Describing Apple's opening up to third-party app stores as "more hot garbage," and a "new horror show," he called out the company for its "devious new instance of Malicious Compliance."



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Yes and I will all those Apps on a 'dirty' old iPhone (for use only to generate costs to third party stores and nothing else) an make sure that Epic will have to pay their annual fees. (and I couldn't be bothered to even start their app ... just once per year make sure it get's downloaded)).
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 14
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,377member
    I’m a little disappointed. What Epic did warranted a lifetime ban from being an Apple developer. However, if they’ve been re-granted an EU-only developer account, it means the company has signed a pact promising to play by the (new) rules. Not that Epic’s word means anything, but I expect Apple Europe will be … let’s say vigilant … for any infractions.

    I look forward to Apple collecting the third-party store commission rates, and the annual app Install fee, though I have to wonder if Epic will even qualify for the latter, as you need a million installs a year and Fortnite is a pretty old game at this point … the competition has stepped up … Epic may eventually have to come up with a second game that someone cares about. :smile: 
    edited February 16 williamlondon40domiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 14
    I used to play it, until he started this whole mess.

    Will not be downloading again.
    chasm40domiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 14
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,377member
    PS. I love how man child Sweeney moans and complains about the new requirements, but still came crawling back to sign a new agreement the minute he could.

    I guess his lawyers told him that Apple is compliant with the laws as written.

    My prediction: Apple will let Epic spend the money to put a new version of Fortnite out in Europe, then pull some stunt (again) and get booted off the EU store (again). Probably around the time Epic has to pay the million-installs fee.
    40dominubuswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 14
    XedXed Posts: 2,675member
    If I use a European VPN to download the game will it cost Epic money?
    Gabywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 14
    Anyone with big bucks can lobby legislators. So "winning the war" is probably an overstatement. 
    Gabywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 14
    Xed said:
    If I use a European VPN to download the game will it cost Epic money?
    VPN won't work. Apple is using the billing address of the Apple ID. So you Would need a billing address and method that is based in an EU country to have access to side loading. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 14

    chasm said:
    I’m a little disappointed. What Epic did warranted a lifetime ban from being an Apple developer. However, if they’ve been re-granted an EU-only developer account, it means the company has signed a pact promising to play by the (new) rules. Not that Epic’s word means anything, but I expect Apple Europe will be … let’s say vigilant … for any infractions.

    I look forward to Apple collecting the third-party store commission rates, and the annual app Install fee, though I have to wonder if Epic will even qualify for the latter, as you need a million installs a year and Fortnite is a pretty old game at this point … the competition has stepped up … Epic may eventually have to come up with a second game that someone cares about. :smile: 
    Charging the installation fee (I don't remember Apple calls it) starts after the millionth download if you use the Apple App Store. For third party stores it starts from the first download. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 14
    nubusnubus Posts: 447member
    Some companies don't deserve to exist. Epic is such a company.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 14

    chasm said:
    I’m a little disappointed. What Epic did warranted a lifetime ban from being an Apple developer. However, if they’ve been re-granted an EU-only developer account, it means the company has signed a pact promising to play by the (new) rules. Not that Epic’s word means anything, but I expect Apple Europe will be … let’s say vigilant … for any infractions.

    I look forward to Apple collecting the third-party store commission rates, and the annual app Install fee, though I have to wonder if Epic will even qualify for the latter, as you need a million installs a year and Fortnite is a pretty old game at this point … the competition has stepped up … Epic may eventually have to come up with a second game that someone cares about. :smile: 
    Charging the installation fee (I don't remember Apple calls it) starts after the millionth download if you use the Apple App Store. For third party stores it starts from the first download. 
    The Core Technology Fee starts after a 1 million threshold regardless of whether the app is from the Apple App Store or a 3rd Party App Store.

     From the Apple Press Release: Apple announces changes to iOS, Safari, and the App Store in the European Union - Apple

    • Core Technology Fee — iOS apps distributed from the App Store and/or an alternative app marketplace will pay €0.50 for each first annual install per year over a 1 million threshold.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 14
    Yes and I will all those Apps on a 'dirty' old iPhone (for use only to generate costs to third party stores and nothing else) an make sure that Epic will have to pay their annual fees. (and I couldn't be bothered to even start their app ... just once per year make sure it get's downloaded)).
    If I could get hold of a EU iPhone, I'd download the phone and install the free games only.  Then immediately uninstall them.
    apple4thewinwilliamlondon
  • Reply 12 of 14
    Yes and I will all those Apps on a 'dirty' old iPhone (for use only to generate costs to third party stores and nothing else) an make sure that Epic will have to pay their annual fees. (and I couldn't be bothered to even start their app ... just once per year make sure it get's downloaded)).
    If I could get hold of a EU iPhone, I'd download the phone and install the free games only.  Then immediately uninstall them.
    You are a menace to society. We need to protect you 🫡
    williamlondonbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 13 of 14
    ctt_zh said:

    chasm said:
    I’m a little disappointed. What Epic did warranted a lifetime ban from being an Apple developer. However, if they’ve been re-granted an EU-only developer account, it means the company has signed a pact promising to play by the (new) rules. Not that Epic’s word means anything, but I expect Apple Europe will be … let’s say vigilant … for any infractions.

    I look forward to Apple collecting the third-party store commission rates, and the annual app Install fee, though I have to wonder if Epic will even qualify for the latter, as you need a million installs a year and Fortnite is a pretty old game at this point … the competition has stepped up … Epic may eventually have to come up with a second game that someone cares about. :smile: 
    Charging the installation fee (I don't remember Apple calls it) starts after the millionth download if you use the Apple App Store. For third party stores it starts from the first download. 
    The Core Technology Fee starts after a 1 million threshold regardless of whether the app is from the Apple App Store or a 3rd Party App Store.

     From the Apple Press Release: Apple announces changes to iOS, Safari, and the App Store in the European Union - Apple

    • Core Technology Fee — iOS apps distributed from the App Store and/or an alternative app marketplace will pay €0.50 for each first annual install per year over a 1 million threshold.
    From Apple's developer documentation: https://developer.apple.com/support/core-technology-fee/

    "Developers of alternative app marketplaces will pay the Core Technology Fee for every first annual install of their app marketplace, including installs that occur before one million."

    That seems to say that 3rd party App Stores are paying out of the gate and do not get the 1 million downloads prior to being charged. 
    edited February 19 ctt_zh
  • Reply 14 of 14
    ctt_zh said:

    chasm said:
    I’m a little disappointed. What Epic did warranted a lifetime ban from being an Apple developer. However, if they’ve been re-granted an EU-only developer account, it means the company has signed a pact promising to play by the (new) rules. Not that Epic’s word means anything, but I expect Apple Europe will be … let’s say vigilant … for any infractions.

    I look forward to Apple collecting the third-party store commission rates, and the annual app Install fee, though I have to wonder if Epic will even qualify for the latter, as you need a million installs a year and Fortnite is a pretty old game at this point … the competition has stepped up … Epic may eventually have to come up with a second game that someone cares about. :smile: 
    Charging the installation fee (I don't remember Apple calls it) starts after the millionth download if you use the Apple App Store. For third party stores it starts from the first download. 
    The Core Technology Fee starts after a 1 million threshold regardless of whether the app is from the Apple App Store or a 3rd Party App Store.

     From the Apple Press Release: Apple announces changes to iOS, Safari, and the App Store in the European Union - Apple

    • Core Technology Fee — iOS apps distributed from the App Store and/or an alternative app marketplace will pay €0.50 for each first annual install per year over a 1 million threshold.
    From Apple's developer documentation: https://developer.apple.com/support/core-technology-fee/

    "Developers of alternative app marketplaces will pay the Core Technology Fee for every first annual install of their app marketplace, including installs that occur before one million."

    That seems to say that 3rd party App Stores are paying out of the gate and do not get the 1 million downloads prior to being charged. 
    Agreed.

    So owners of the 3rd Party App Stores who also distribute software from those App Stores pay the Core Technology Fee from the 1st download.

    Non-owners
    who use a 3rd Party App Store solely for distribution only pay the Core Technology Fee after the 1 million download threshold. This wasn't clear in the Press Release, thanks for clarifying.

    Also in the developer documentation you quoted from, for completeness:
    • One million free first annual installs. Membership in the Apple Developer Program includes one million first annual installs per year for free for apps distributed from the App Store and/or alternative marketplaces.
    edited February 19
Sign In or Register to comment.