Epic CEO says ‘Fortnite’ will return to iPhone in 2023

Tim Sweeney [Epic Games]


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Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has suggested that ‘Fortnite’ will return to iOS and iPadOS in 2023. Here’s how this could happen.

Since August 2020, Epic has disowned Apple and the App Store after breaking rules on payment systems, which led to a major lawsuit over the App Store’s policies. In tweets marking the new year, it seems Tim Sweeney believes progress will be made during 2023.

In a December 31 tweet, Sweeney posted the short message “Next year on iOS!” In a follow-up post to answer this, Sweeney shared an image from within Epic’s game “Fortnite”.

Sweeney doesn’t go into detail after the cryptic tweets, deciding instead to discuss the math, but the proclamation can be interpreted in a number of ways.

an impossible solution

The most obvious would be the return of “Fortnite” to the App Store. Since an August 2020 update that added a secondary payment system alongside the existing Apple in-app payments platform, the game has been banned from the App Store altogether.

There’s a small chance this will happen, though it would require a major reconciliation between Apple and Epic. Given that the appeals process for major cases is still underway, it may take some time to complete.

Fortnite on an iPhone.

Fortnite on an iPhone.

In a December interview, Sweeney insisted that he would fight Apple in the Supreme Court if it was necessary to win. Sweeney said, “We’re just going to fight as long as it takes to get what we’re asking for.” “And if Apple will settle for it, we’ll settle it today.”

In practice, this is the simplest result from a technical point of view. It only requires Apple to bring “Fortnite” back to the App Store and allow Epic to update its game.

storefront battle

The likely scenario is that Epic builds the iOS App Store.

In Europe, the Digital Markets Act would force Apple to allow third-party app marketplaces to exist on the iPhone and iPad. If unopposed by Apple, the legislation could result in Apple enabling that functionality in the fall of 2023, though Apple’s resistance could push the change into 2024.

However, on December 13, reports claimed that Apple was already working on changes to its software and services to comply with the rules, including enabling third-party app storefronts without going through the App Store. Is.

This type of activity from Apple is likely to be a preliminary step rather than something that will actually be introduced. Given Apple’s continued resistance to side-loading and alternative app marketplaces from a security and privacy perspective, it’s also an option Apple will resist implementing as much as possible.

Earlier in December, Sweeney continued to rail against Apple and its policies, under the guise of being anti-competitive. Sweeney compared Apple’s management of the App Store to a railroad monopoly preventing oil refineries from using infrastructure.

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