Apple has declined to allow “Fortnite” back on its App Store, citing Epic’s “intentional breach of contract,” according to an email written by Mark Perry, a lawyer representing Apple. The email was shared Wednesday by Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney on Twitter. Perry wrote that Apple would not consider any further requests until the court verdict becomes final and can no longer be appealed. It could take years for all the appeals to be processed.
Last Thursday, Sweeney wrote to Phil Schiller, an Apple fellow and lead App Store executive, asking to reinstate “Fortnite” and update Apple’s guidelines to make alternative payment methods and Apple’s payment system the same level of convenience for users, according to a tweet published Wednesday. Sweeney said “Fortnite” would make a return if Apple follows the court verdict; then the two companies’ only source of conflict would be over whether Epic should be allowed to publish a store within a store. Sweeney wrote that he believed “we could find common ground on the topic.”
“Fortnite” gamers on iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system, can continue playing the game if they downloaded it before Apple removed it from its store. However, these players can only access an extremely outdated version of the title, as Epic has been unable to submit updates to the app via Apple’s process.
Gonzalez Rogers’s verdict came down in favor of Apple on most counts, ruling that Epic owed Apple revenue commissions as back payment. However, she also ruled that Apple cannot prevent developers from directing customers to alternative payment methods outside its App Store, citing California competition laws. The verdict has massive implications for ongoing antitrust suits in the gaming industry and particularly for the mobile gaming world.
Apple said in a Sept. 10 statement shared with The Washington Post that it considered the verdict a huge win, as the court found that the company is not a monopolist.