Fortnite could take 5 years or more to return to iOS

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Carlos Laforet Coll
Source: Epic Games

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney reveals that Apple currently has no plans to allow Epic to bring Fortnite back to the iOS App Store.

On September 10, the lawsuit in the United States between Epic Games and Apple came to an end. The judge's decision ended up leaving both parties dissatisfied with the results, as Epic failed to persuade the Apple monopoly court, but still sided with Epic in removing Apple's "anti-driving" rules. 

Meanwhile, players Fortnite they wonder what all this means to them. Despite Fortnite fans' hopes that the end of the case could mean Fortnite's return to iOS soon, new details reveal that the process could take years yet.

In a letter shared by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney on Twitter from Apple's legal representation, Apple makes it clear that it has no intention of allowing Fortnite to return to the iOS App Store. 

Attorney Mark A. Perry claims that due to the context of the court's decision, as well as "Epic's past dubious conduct," Apple refuses to reinstate the Epic Games developer account. In other words, there's no reason to believe that Fortnite is returning to the App Store.

Furthermore, Apple says it has no plans to reconsider its decision in the near future. The only caveat is that Apple leaves open the possibility of reconsidering once the "district court decision becomes final and unappealable." 

In other words, Apple says it won't reconsider while Epic Games is appealing the case. Sweeney says this appeals process could take up to five years, which means Fortnite, like any other Epic Games release, won't be coming to iOS anytime soon.

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Just last week, Epic agreed with Apple that we would play by the same rules as everyone else.

— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 22, 2021

Sweeney is making this Apple letter public as part of a statement accusing the company of lying to the court. According to Sweeney, Apple said it "would welcome Epic's return to the App Store if it agrees to play by the same rules as everyone else.

Sweeney says that's exactly what Epic is trying to do after the conclusion of its initial court case, as it did as the court demanded. This includes disabling Epic's payment server and paying Apple $6.000.000.

In short, Epic says that as long as Apple follows through with the court's order to remove the "anti-driving" rules, Epic would resubmit Fortnite to the App Store. The appeals process would go ahead without a relationship. Apple, for its part, says it continues to refuse to allow Epic to return and will continue to do so in the future.

While Apple says it would be willing to reconsider its decision at the end of the appeals process years later, the clear implication is that Apple is open to banning Epic from its services for good. It's hard not to see Apple's current decision-making as pushing Epic to end its search for features. 

By keeping Epic off its services, it has the upper hand. Additionally, Epic has larger ongoing goals in this process as well. Even after the court case ended, it remains a complicated mess, with Fortnite players caught in the middle.

Fortnite is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

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