“Fortnite and Epic Games Store Expand to iOS in Europe”

Four years after leaving iOS, Fortnite is coming back — but only European players will be dropping in this time. The endless beef between Epic Games and Apple over the company’s App Store fees took its most recent surprise turn on Thursday when the iPhone maker announced changes coming to iOS in the EU. The plan to offer Fortnite for iOS dovetails with Epic’s news that it will launch a version of the Epic Games Store on the platform in the EU. Beyond developing Fortnite and the Unreal Engine, Epic also runs the Epic Game Store, a digital storefront for PC games that’s also available on Macs. That vision is increasingly coming into focus on Fortnite, which has evolved from being a few third-person shooter game modes into a full-fledged Roblox-like portal for digital games.

After years of conflict between Epic Games and Apple over App Store fees, a surprising turn of events has brought Fortnite back to iOS. However, this time, the popular game will only be available to European players.

The ongoing battle between the two companies has reached a new level with Apple’s announcement of changes coming to iOS in order to comply with the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a set of pro-competition rules implemented to regulate six major tech companies. As a result, Apple will now allow apps to be “sideloaded,” meaning they can be installed from sources outside of the App Store’s closed system.

This significant change gives developers the ability to distribute iOS apps through alternative channels, or even create their own app marketplaces. Apple has long opposed the practice of sideloading, arguing that it poses a threat to the security and privacy standards of their platform, in contrast to Google Play’s allowance of the practice.

In light of these changes, Epic Games plans to launch Fortnite on iOS later this year. This decision also aligns with their announcement of a version of the Epic Games Store being made available in the EU.

“Remember Fortnite on iOS? How about we bring that back. Later this year Fortnite will return in Europe on iOS through the @EpicGames Store.”

– Fortnite (@FortniteGame) January 25, 2024

While Apple’s App Store overhaul in the EU marks a significant departure from its previous policies, Epic Games is not entirely satisfied with the details of how the company will comply with the DMA. Tim Sweeney, Epic’s CEO, openly criticized Apple’s plans, calling them “hot garbage” due to the inclusion of excessive fees.

Despite their ongoing disagreements, Epic is prepared to relaunch Fortnite on iOS. In addition to developing the hit battle royale game and Unreal Engine, Epic also manages the Epic Games Store, a digital marketplace for PC games that is also available on Macs. Similar to Apple, Epic generates revenue as a “digital landlord” through their store, but their revenue share of 13% (with 88% going to the developers) and approach to in-app purchases are much less aggressive compared to Apple’s policies.

It is evident that Epic sees a lucrative future in expanding their software marketplace business. This vision has become increasingly apparent in Fortnite, which has transformed from a third-person shooter game into a full-fledged digital gaming hub similar to Roblox. Along with the classic battle royale mode, Fortnite now offers thousands of user-generated games, as well as flashy new titles developed by Epic themselves that include survival, racing, and rhythm gaming options.

Avatar photo
Max Chen

Max Chen is an AI expert and journalist with a focus on the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. He has a background in computer science and is known for his clear and concise writing on complex technical topics. He has also written extensively on the potential risks and benefits of AI, and is a frequent speaker on the subject at industry conferences and events.

Articles: 865

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *