Following a three-year exile, popular battle royale game Fortnite is set to return to iOS devices in Europe through a dedicated Epic Games Store.
After a post about bringing back Fortnite on iOS on its official X account, the Epic Games Newsroom followed up today with a confirmation that the game will indeed “return to iOS in Europe in 2024.”
Fortnite will return to iOS in Europe in 2024, distributed by the upcoming @EpicGames Store for iOS. Stay tuned for details as we figure out the regulatory timeline. We'll continue to argue to the courts and regulators that Apple is breaking the law. https://t.co/MHh6EGVinC— Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom) January 25, 2024
Fortnite was removed from the iOS platform in August 2020 after Epic Games offered discounts for purchases made directly through its own store, bypassing Apple's 30% commission fee.
This sparked a legal battle, with Epic arguing that Apple's practices stifle competition and harm consumers.
The EU’s New Law Is Behind Fortnite’s Comeback to iOS
Fortnite’s soon-to-be triumphant return to iOS is courtesy of the European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA), which will take effect in March.
The DMA aims to curb the dominance of Big Tech companies by introducing new rules on app stores and online platforms.
One key change is the mandatory opening of app stores to third-party competitors, a stark contrast to Apple's previously closed ecosystem. And Epic Games, a vocal critic of Apple's App Store policies, is the first to welcome this shift.
The DMA's impact extends beyond just one game.
It will present a major shakeup for Apple's iOS ecosystem, opening the door for increased competition and potential benefits for both developers and users.
Earlier this week, Meta also changed its app features ahead of the DMA, allowing EU users to unlink their Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Epic Games Is Still Not Happy With Apple
By launching its own store in the EU, Epic aims to offer iOS users an alternative with lower fees and potentially exclusive content like Fortnite.
However, Apple's response to the DMA does not seem to constitute a surrender. While conceding to third-party app stores and alternative payment options, the company introduced new fees of its own.
Developers will now face a 3% "payment processing" fee for transactions within the App Store and a €0.50 "core technology fee" for app downloads exceeding a million installations.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney expressed strong reservations about these fees, labeling them "new Junk Fees on downloads and new Apple taxes on payments they don't process."
Apple's plan to thwart Europe's new Digital Markets Act law is a devious new instance of Malicious Compliance.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) January 25, 2024
They are forcing developers to choose between App Store exclusivity and the store terms, which will be illegal under DMA, or accept a new also-illegal anticompetitive…
Sweeney further criticized Apple's selective gatekeeping and questioned the company's ability to choose which app stores can compete.
Despite his harsh comments, Sweeney remains committed to bringing the Epic Games Store to iOS and Android, aiming to challenge Apple's dominance and empower gamers with a wider choice.
For European iPhone and iPad users, the arrival of Fortnite marks not just a game's return, but a glimpse into a potentially more diverse and dynamic app landscape.