Last week when Microsoft announced its beta test of Project XCloud would end for Apple devices they cited Apple’s policy on transactions outside of the App Store. This week that same policy has encouraged Epic Games to stage a Fortnite protest. Earlier today Fortnite players noticed the ability to make purchases directly from Epic inside the Fortnite iOS app. Within a few hours, Apple delisted the game from the App Store and released a statement that Fortnite updates will no longer be supported by Apple.
Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result their Fortnite app has been removed from the store. Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.
Epic has had apps on the App Store for a decade, and have benefited from the App Store ecosystem – including its tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers. Epic agreed to the App Store terms and guidelines freely and we’re glad they’ve built such a successful business on the App Store. The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store.
Something must have been going on behind the scenes in the days leading up to this. Within a few minutes, Epic Games published an injunction against Apple. Followed by a parody video of Apple’s iconic 1984 style commercial that poked fun at large corporations. We will have to see who gives out first. Or is Fortnite gone from iOS devices for good?