Epic has confirmed it will not be releasing its upcoming Fortnite season, Chapter 2: Season 4, for iOS or macOS, saying the ongoing antitrust feud with Apple over in-app payment processing and other App Store disputes has blocked it from issuing updates and new installs on Apple devices. While this was a suspected development after Fortnite’s removal earlier this month — Epic warned it could happen the day the app was pulled — the season’s launch on Thursday, August 27th had been fast approaching without formal word from Epic on its plans.
“Apple is blocking Fortnite updates and new installs on the App Store, and has said they will terminate our ability to develop Fortnite for Apple devices. As a result, Fortnite’s newly released Chapter 2 – Season 4 update (v14.00), will not release on iOS and macOS on August 27,” reads a new update on Epic’s FAQ dedicated to its standoff with Apple. “If you still want to play Fortnite on Android, you can access the latest version of Fortnite from the Epic Games App for Android on Fortnite.com/Android or the Samsung Galaxy Store.”
“You, as a mobile device owner, have the right to install apps from sources of your choosing.”
One factor Epic had to contend with was whether it could convince the judge presiding over its lawsuit against Apple to issue a temporary restraining order preventing Apple from keeping Fortnite off the App Store and blocking Epic’s updates. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled late Monday following a hearing earlier that evening, granting Epic the restraining order but only with respect to its Unreal Engine business, which Apple was also targeting with a threat to terminate the associated developer account.
That meant Apple was not required to restore Fortnite to the App Store, and Epic was forced to plan around the fact that it would not be able to issue updates to the iOS or macOS versions of the game. Apple has said Epic can simply revert the update that implemented its own in-app payment processing system to resume distributing and updating Fortnite on iOS and macOS.
Apple’s response to the Judge’s temporary order pic.twitter.com/BXwvWcgiCB
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) August 25, 2020
But Epic has refused, saying in a new blog post published today titled, “Why We Fight,” that Apple’s proposal is an “invitation for Epic to collude with Apple to maintain their monopoly” and that Epic “as a matter of principle… won’t participate in this scheme.”
You can read the post in full below:
Epic gave Fortnite players on iOS a choice between Apple payment and Epic direct payment, passing on savings to direct purchasers. Apple retaliated by blocking Fortnite updates on iOS devices and threatening to prevent Epic from creating software for all Apple devices – not just on Fortnite but all of our games, and Unreal Engine too.
Apple is asking that Epic revert Fortnite to exclusively use Apple payments. Their proposal is an invitation for Epic to collude with Apple to maintain their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS, suppressing free market competition and inflating prices. As a matter of principle, we won’t participate in this scheme.
You, as a mobile device owner, have the right to install apps from sources of your choosing. Software makers have the right to freely express their ideas and to compete in a fair marketplace. Apple’s policies take these freedoms away.
Apple’s policies are so restrictive that they block gaming services like Microsoft xCloud, NVIDIA GeForce NOW, and Google Stadia from existing on iOS. Apple’s policies would have even blocked the World Wide Web if it had been invented after the iPhone, because Apple policies disallow running code not reviewed by Apple, accepting payments directly from customers, and accessing content not reviewed by Apple – all fundamental features of the web. These policies, together with Apple’s chilling enforcement strategy, directly impede innovation and invention of entirely new kinds of apps, games, and businesses.
Epic is one of the many game developers who has long worked to advance better and fairer platform practices, such as cross-platform gameplay, communication, accounts, and items in Fortnite on seven platforms (though now only six). We are committed to securing lasting freedoms for all. This is why we fight.
You can view the record of our legal dispute in our August 13, August 17, and August 23 filings.