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No more ‘Fortnite’ on iPhone: Apple vs. Epic legal fight blocks future iOS game updates

(Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)
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With Epic Games and Apple locked in a legal battle over iOS app store policies, “Fortnite” players on iOS devices like iPhone and iPad are essentially locked out of future updates of the game. This means “Fortnite” on iOS will soon be dead.

The game still works as of press time. The Washington Post was still able to purchase V-bucks, the game’s form of currency, through Apple as well as the Epic Games store. The game was pulled from the App Store after Epic Games defied Apple’s app policies by adding a discounted price for V-bucks using a direct payment method.

Epic Games sues Apple after 'Fortnite' removal from App Store

Epic confirms the iOS version of the game will no longer be able to receive future updates, which means the game won’t work the next time the game receives a patch. “Fortnite” has remained one of the world’s most popular games thanks to constant updates. Updates include new game modes, map changes, characters and other features, all core elements of the wildly popular game.

Alongside the lawsuit, Epic launched a PR salvo Thursday as well, creating a marketing trailer that tied in with the suit and App Store removal.

“Fortnite” was released as a free game in 2017 by Epic Games. While it failed to make an immediate splash, the game quickly pivoted toward the then-growing battle royale game genre, which drew more fans every month. The game’s popularity skyrocketed in March 2018 when Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, one of the world’s most popular streaming personalities, played matches of “Fortnite” with rappers Drake and Travis Scott, and NFL star JuJu Smith-Schuster.

The game then became a global cultural touchpoint, becoming so popular that national sports leagues grew concerned about lax player training schedules, and Netflix executives cited the game, and not HBO or HULU, as the company’s biggest competitor. The game saw 100 million downloads from the App Store in its first five months in 2018. In 2019, Epic Games boasted the game had about 250 million active accounts a month overall.

“Fortnite” most recently made headlines this past summer with its Travis Scott virtual concert tour, which was “attended” by more than 27 million people across three days. The concert is part of Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney’s efforts to place “Fortnite” at the tip of the spear when it comes to iterating the next version of the Internet, a virtual world conceptually called the Metaverse. The Metaverse concept has only grown in popularity in the current pandemic quarantine situation.

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