Epic Games is gearing up to reintroduce Fortnite to iOS devices in Europe later this year through its upcoming Epic Games Store.
This revelation follows Apple’s recent decision to open up iOS to third-party app stores, a move prompted by the upcoming enforcement of the European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) on March 7, 2024. Despite a tumultuous history and ongoing legal disputes, Fortnite’s return to iOS signifies a pivotal moment in the tech industry.
Fortnite will soon be downloadable outside the App Store in Europe
Fortnite has been notably absent from iOS for over three years, a consequence of Apple removing the game due to Epic Games introducing third-party in-app payments without authorization. Throughout this period, Epic Games has expressed its desire to extend its game store to iOS, presenting a competitive alternative to Apple’s App Store with more favorable fee structures for developers.
Epic Games’ plan to launch its store on iOS later this year aligns strategically with Apple’s decision to allow third-party app stores in the European Union under new regulations. This move is set to make Fortnite available to iOS users in Europe, with the expectation that the game will be restricted to regions covered by the Digital Markets Act.
The impact of the DMA, scheduled for enforcement on March 7, is pivotal in enabling developers to process payments and distribute apps outside of the App Store, subject to Apple’s “Notarization” approval process. Epic Games underscores that Fortnite’s resurgence on iOS is directly tied to the DMA, empowering developers to operate beyond the confines of Apple’s App Store.
However, despite this positive development, Epic Games’ CEO, Tim Sweeney, remains critical of Apple’s actions. Sweeney characterizes the changes as “malicious compliance” and expresses concerns about new fees and taxes imposed by Apple. He questions the acceptability of a monopoly determining the terms of competition and accuses Apple of undermining free market competition.
Under what possible theory of antitrust regulation is it acceptable for a monopoly to decide what companies are allowed to compete with it, and on what terms they can compete? Apple makes a mockery of free market competition. https://t.co/BPEdXQ2htt
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) January 26, 2024
Apple’s introduction of new business terms for apps in the EU, including the Core Technology Fee (CTF), presents developers with a choice between existing terms and new capabilities. Tim Sweeney openly criticizes these terms, labeling them an “anticompetitive scheme” with additional fees and taxes.