The battle between Apple and Epic Games is far from over. Although a judicial ruling of September 2021 allowed to limit a solution to the conflict, the unknown about when does he return Fortnite to the Apple App Store it stays open and could be extended beyond what fans wanted.
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The origin of the conflict
The popular video game Fortnite It was removed from the App Store catalog in August 2020, after Epic Games decided to implement an alternative payment system to the official one established by Apple. The goal was to avoid the 30 percent commission that the Cupertino firm charges on all transactions made through the App Store.
After being removed from the catalog, Epic Games sued Apple for monopolistic practices. And, in response to this action, the company led by Tim Cook locked down its developer accounts for iOS and macOS, as well as the powerful game engine. Unreal Engine.
In September 2021, the California district court issued a divided ruling, the scope of which is still in doubt about the return of Fortnite to the App Store.
- It established that Apple does not have a monopoly on digital transactions in mobile video games.
- It estimated that Epic Games had breached the contract and sentenced it to indemnify Apple with 30 percent of its mobile revenue since August 2020.
- It ordered Apple to allow metadata, external links or other calls to action to be included, allowing users to access alternative payment mechanisms.
For many, the resolution sought to satisfy both: Apple was right that Epic Games had violated the contract, but recognized the right of the latter to implement its own payment mechanism.
Although the opinion opened the possibility for Fornite can return to the App Store, there are still several steps to make this happen (even if it finally happens).
The ruling becomes effective until 90 days after its issuance, the December 9, 2021, to the extent that neither party submits an appeal to a higher instance.
In fact, Apple has already rejected a request from Epic Games to restore its developer accounts until the ruling is final.
What will happen after December 9? If the ruling is upheld, it is unlikely that the return of Fortnite to the App Store is immediate. The parties must sit down to negotiate new terms, including the right to use an alternative payment system, something Apple seems determined to avoid.
However, the deadline could be even longer: according to Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, it could extend for five years. At least in the short term the fans of Fortnite they will have to keep waiting.