Epic Games CEO and founder Tim Sweeney shared an email today confirming that Apple won’t consider reinstating Epic’s developer program account until the “district court’s judgment becomes final and nonappealable.” This process could take as long as five years, meaning fans are unlikely to see Fortnite return to Apple devices anytime soon.
Epic’s lawsuit against Apple began in August 2020 when Fortnite’s developer accounts were disabled in response to Epic offering in-app purchases through its own system. This meant purchases were handled outside of the app and Apple wouldn’t receive the 30-percent store fee. Apple did announce on Sept. 1 that it would start moving away from this rule, allowing apps like Spotify and Netflix to redirect to their own purchase pages.
A California court ruled on Sept. 10 that Apple must allow developers to include third-party in-app purchase methods. But Sweeney revealed earlier today that Fortnite isn’t coming back to iOS devices anytime soon.
Sweeney shared a screengrab of an email response from an Apple representative explaining that Apple has “exercised its discretion to not reinstate Epic’s developer program at this time.” The email also confirmed Apple won’t consider reinstatement until the court’s judgment becomes “final and nonappealable.” Sweeney explained that the exhaustion of all court appeals could be as long as a five-year process.
While this is bad news for Fortnite fans, Sweeney confirmed Epic will “fight on.” But there’s no clear indication when Fortnite will return to Apple devices, so consider other platforms or games for the time being.