Fortnite update not coming to iPhone, iPad or Mac in wake of ongoing Apple-Epic Games legal fight
Epic Games said it will not release the Chapter 2-Season 4 (v14.00) update of Fortnite for iOS and Mac devices on Thursday as previously planned, a result of Apple’s recent decision to block updates and new installs of the game inside the App Store.
Back on Aug. 13, Apple and Google banned Epic for creating an in-game payments that attempted to bypass the 30% fee that the tech titans take from developers in their respective digital emporiums. Epic promised gamers up to 20% off the Fortnite’s V-Bucks currency and “real money offers” on purchases through PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac, “and on mobile when using select payment methods.”
Epic claimed monopolistic behavior on the part of Apple and created a parody of Apple's iconic "1984" commercial for the Macintosh, since viewed more than 630,000 times on YouTube.
The battle moved to the courtroom.
On Tuesday, Epic Games won a temporary restraining order against Apple but the outcome still tilted in Apple's favor. U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said Apple could not revoke or restrict Epic’s developer tools, including the Unreal Engine graphics engine. But the Judge ruled in favor of the status quo as it pertains to Apple’s ban of Fortnite in its store.
“Epic Games has not yet demonstrated irreparable harm,” the Judge wrote. “The current predicament appears of its own making.”
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted a statement from Apple thanking “the court for recognizing that Epic's problem is entirely self-inflicted and is in their power to resolve. Our very first priority is making sure App Store users have a great experience in a safe and trusted environment, including iPhone users who play Fortnite and who are looking forward to the game's next season. We agree with Judge Gonzalez-Rogers that 'the sensible way to proceed' is for Epic to comply with the App Store guidelines and continue to operate while the case proceeds. If Epic takes the steps the judge has recommended, we will gladly welcome Fortnite back onto iOS. We look forward to making our case to the court in September.”
Epic is fighting on. “Apple is asking that Epic revert Fortnite to exclusively use Apple payments,” wrote Epic vice president for communications and public affairs Tera Randall. “Their proposal is an invitation for Epic to collude with Apple to maintain their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS, suppressing free market competition and inflating prices. As a matter of principle, we won’t participate in this scheme.”
Epic says players can still access the latest version of Fortnite from the Epic Games App for Android on Fortnite.com/Android or the Samsung Galaxy Store. But that doesn’t help Fortnite fans like my son Samuel, 13, (pictured above) who plays on his iPhone, and who was bummed when I informed him that a rapid resolution of the dispute appears unlikely.
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