Following new European Union rules, Epic announced that it is launching the Epic Games Store on iPhone later this year and will also be bringing Fortnite back to iOS, too.
Over three years ago, in August 2020, Epic tried to add new ways for people to buy in-game items in Fortnite’s mobile ports. These new methods would be cheaper for users and would circumvent Google and Apple’s store cut that the tech giants usually collect on all in-app purchases on their respective devices. Within hours, both Google and Apple had yanked Fortnite from their digital stores and Epic began a legal fight with both companies that is just now wrapping. (Quick summary: Epic didn’t win much against Apple, but came out better against Google.) Now, thanks to the European Union’s new Digital Markets Act (DMA), Epic will finally be bringing its popular battle royale shooter back to iPhones in the EU.
On January 25, Apple was forced to implement changes that would allow—for the first time ever—third-party app stores on iOS devices. Apple will also have to allow sideloading, the ability for users to install their own apps directly onto their devices. These are both features of Android phones, but not the more locked-down iOS ecosystem. But thanks to the DMA, that’s changing in the EU and Epic wasted no time calling out Apple and announcing Fortnite’s return via its own third-party app, the Epic Games Store.
“Remember Fortnite on iOS? How bout we bring that back,” tweeted Epic earlier today. The tweet was posted alongside a direct callout to Apple and a gif showing the famous Fortnite banana character, Peely, giving a death stare. Presumably, at Apple.
“Later this year Fortnite will return in Europe on iOS through the Epic Games Store. (Shoutout DMA – an important new law in the EU making this possible). @Apple, the world is watching,” Epic tweeted.
Epic’s CEO isn’t happy about Apple’s new rules
Of course, Apple allowing sideloading and third-party apps isn’t as simple as it sounds. The tech giant has implemented a ton of rules and various restrictions that could be costly for independent devs and limit just how useful third-party storefronts can be. Epic’s CEO, Tim Sweeney, isn’t happy about the iPhone maker’s restrictions and new policies, calling them “hot garbage.”
“Apple proposes that it can choose which stores are allowed to compete with their App Store,” Sweeney wrote in a lengthy tweet on January 25. “They could block Epic from launching the Epic Games Store and distributing Fortnite through it, for example, or block Microsoft, Valve, Good Old Games, or new entrants.”
“There’s a lot more hot garbage in Apple’s announcement. It will take more time to parse both the written and unwritten parts of this new horror show, so stay tuned,” posted Sweeney.
For now, the plan seems to be—despite the terrible rules, according to Epic’s CEO—that the company will bring Fortnite and its store to iPhones in the EU, unless Apple tries to intervene.