The legal battle between Epic Games and Apple continues as it seems that both are probably willing to cut the proverbial Fortnite baby in half. Earlier this month, the court ruled that Apple must allow third-party payment systems, which was apparently not enough for Epic, who decided to submit an appeal last week. Now, Apple have informed Epic that they will not be allowing Fortnite back into the App Store clubhouse until they've exhausted all their own avenues to appeal. Which means Fortnite could remain off the store for years yet, according to Epic.
Apple informed Epic of this in an email late on September 21st, according to Epic CEO Tim Sweeney.
"Mr. Sweeney has publicly said that Epic '[w]ouldn't trade [an alternate payment system] away to get Fortnite back on iOS.' In light of this and other statements since the court's decision, coupled with Epic's duplicitous conduct in the past, Apple has exercised its discretion not to reinstate Epic's developer program account at this time. Furthermore, Apple will not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court's judgement becomes final and nonappealable."
The statements that Apple are referencing, Sweeney believes, are from one of his Tweets earlier this month in which he says, "Thinking much more about whether we’re going to live in a world where two platform megacorps dictate software and world commerce to everyone or whether the digital world and the future metaverse will be a free world. Wouldn’t trade that away to get Fortnite back on iOS."
Sure, Apple's translation does seem rather reductive. Regardless of any bad faith by either party though, it sounds like Apple are putting their feet down on this one. Fortnite is still grounded from using its cell phone.
As they do, the two big corps will likely carry on with appeals as long as they're able. That was always likely to be a years long process, but now it may also be holding Fornite players off iOS for its entire duration.