After a lengthy legal battle, Apple wants nothing to do with Epic.
For over a year now, Apple has been in a gradually-escalating legal battle with Epic Games, the developer and publisher of the popular Battle Royale multiplayer game, Fortnite. The game was banned from the Apple App Store last August when Epic tried to set up their own payment system to skirt the toll-based payment system Apple requires App Store apps to use. This prompted a massive campaign spearheaded by Epic decrying the App Store as a monopoly, which drew the support of multiple small-time app developers with similar grievances.
Ultimately, the matter was brought to court, and earlier this month a California judge reached a verdict: Apple is no longer permitted to ban apps that attempt to direct users to alternative payment methods. However, it wasn’t a complete win for Epic, as the App Store was not deemed a monopoly, nor did the judge believe Apple was out of line delisting Fortnite from their storefront.
After such a prolonged legal battle, the question remained: would Apple allow Fortnite back onto their store? Somewhat unsurprisingly, the answer is no. In a response to a request for relisting from Epic, an Apple lawyer said that the company “has exercised its discretion not to reinstate Epic’s developer program account at this time.”
“Furthermore, Apple will not consider any requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgment becomes final and non-appealable,” the lawyer added. To clarify, this process could take as long as five years.
Late last night, Apple informed Epic that Fortnite will be blacklisted from the Apple ecosystem until the exhaustion of all court appeals, which could be as long as a 5-year process. pic.twitter.com/QCD7wogJef
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 22, 2021
Epic CEO Tim Sweeny slammed Apple’s move in a series of tweets, calling it “another extraordinary anticompetitive move.”
“Apple lied,” he said. “Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users.”
Apple has declined to comment on Sweeny’s statements.