Fortnite might come back to iPhone this year, but not in a way you’d expect
On New Year’s Eve, Tim Sweeney, the founder and CEO of Epic Games posted a tweet that hints at Fortnite coming back to iPhones and iPads in 2023. All the tweet read was “Next year on iOS!”
While not a lot to go on, this undoubtedly refers to the fact that Fortnite hasn’t been on the App Store for a few years now. It started with the Epic v. Apple lawsuit that Epic initiated in 2020 claiming that the App Store was in violation of antitrust laws due to its exorbitant 30% fee for all apps as well as users’ inability to make purchases on iOS through other stores or services.
As part of this, Epic Games made it possible for players to make in-app purchases in Fortnite without going through the App Store or Google Play Store which resulted in Fortnite getting booted from both. The popular battle royale hasn’t been on the App Store since. The lawsuit ended in 2021 with a judge siding on many points with Apple and telling Epic to pay Apple $6M for breach of contract.
Due to the conflict between the two companies, it’s unsure if Fornite will ever come back to the App Store. However, we do know that Apple is about to allow third-party app stores on the iPhone and so it’s possible that Fortnite could find its way once more on iOS through one of these new stores.
Fortnite came out six years ago, but it still manages to pull in millions of dollars each year. Of course, the game is in the awkward spotlight again now that Epic Games is paying $520M to settle an FTC complaint that centers around collecting minors’ personal information without guardian consent and using tactics that tricked players into making purchases. As the FTC says, “Fortnite’s counterintuitive, inconsistent, and confusing buttons configuration led players to incur unwanted charges based on the press of a single button”. As part of the settlement, Epic Games will be issuing $245M in customer refunds to those who are eligible.
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