Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic, has hinted that Fortnite would return to iOS in 2023 despite a legal dispute with Apple. The well-known game was taken from the App Store for breaking the rules of the service. This sparked one of the most prominent legal conflicts in the industry.
In an effort to ring in the new year, Tim Sweeney tweeted the news. The message was accompanied by a Fortnite player gazing at fireworks in 2023 and the phrase “Next year on iOS!” In order to comply with the new Digital Markets Act, or DMA, rule in Europe, it was previously speculated that Apple will soon let third-party app stores or sideload applications on the iPhone with iOS 17. As a result, this may enable Fortnite to come back to iOS and iPadOS. It’s not required for the game to be accessible through the App Store, however.
Next year on iOS!
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) December 31, 2022
Battle royale game Fortnite by Epic Games is very well-liked and accessible on many different platforms. In August 2020, Apple decided to delete the game from the App Store when Epic Games included a direct payment mechanism. This circumvented Apple’s in-app buying system and transgressed App Store policies. Apple said in a statement at the time:
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 Games sued Apple after being kicked out of the App Store, and the legal dispute is still raging today. Sweeney stated, “We’re fighting for open platforms and policy changes equally benefiting all developers. And it’ll be a hell of a fight!”. Nearly three years later, Apple and Epic Games are contesting a court ruling that would force Apple to provide in-app connections to other websites, bypassing Apple’s App Store payment system.
According to Epic Games, Apple’s monopoly over iOS and the App Store is anti-competitive and the iPhone should support other app shops. Apple, on the other hand, maintains that consumers and developers can still find and discover applications in the App Store securely and reliably. However, Epic Games may benefit from the latest EU ruling, which would allow Fortnite to return on iOS.