Epic CEO says Fortnite has been barred from iOS until final court verdict

Fortnite iOS blacklisted

Tim Sweeney says Apple lied about welcoming Epic back to the App Store

It looks like Apple owners won’t be able to hop back into Fortnite anytime soon. In emails posted today by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, Apple has barred Fortnite from the Apple iOS ecosystem until the final verdict in Epic v. Apple has been delivered.

In a series of tweets, Sweeney says Apple lied when it said it would welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if it abided by the “same rules as everyone else.” Sweeney says Epic agreed, and that Apple went back on its assurances.

The message posted by Sweeney says Apple has “exercised its discretion” to not reinstate Epic’s developer program account at this time, and will not consider further requests for reinstatement until the judgment is “final and nonappealable.” This effectively bars Fortnite from returning to iOS for the time being.

“Late last night, Apple informed Epic that Fortnite will be blacklisted from the Apple ecosystem until the exhaustion of all court appeals, which could be as long as a 5-year process,” Sweeney wrote.

A ruling was made on Sept. 10, saying Apple must allow other forms of in-app purchases, while also affirming in a separate judgment that Epic was in breach of its contract with Apple. Epic has already filed an appeal on the ruling.

The entire case started when Epic tried to implement a new V-Buck purchasing option in Fortnite on the App Store and Google Play Store, leading to Fortnite being pulled and a subsequent suit from Epic. The contest, over the cuts taken from purchases made on the store and how open the iOS platform is, carried on for a while. And there were some pretty interesting stories that came out of the trial proceedings, too.

Apple declined to comment on the matter to The Verge, but also didn’t dispute the authenticity of the documents Sweeney posted today. Looks like the battle of Epic v. Apple isn’t over just yet.

Eric Van Allen