Epic’s iOS Storefront Launch in EU This Year

Epic Games has announced the reinstatement of its iOS developer account by Apple, which allows it to resume its plans for a digital storefront on iOS devices in the European Union. This move will enable users to conveniently download Fortnite on their iPhones.

Earlier in the year, Epic Games had revealed its intention to bring Fortnite and its games store to iOS. The reinstated developer account is a significant step in this direction, as it simplifies the distribution of apps and content across Apple’s platforms.

@EpicGames stated that Fortnite will be available on iOS in Europe in 2024 via the Epic Games Store for iOS. The timeline for the release is being determined according to regulatory stipulations.

This development ensued through the EU’s new Digital Markets Act, which came into effect on March 7. The legislation categorizes large services like Apple’s App Store as “gatekeepers” and mandates interoperability with competitive products.

The tension between Apple and Epic Games has been conspicuous, with the latter having adopted its own in-app payment feature in Fortnite. This action led to a protracted legal battle over Apple’s monopolistic approach and its restrictive policies, where Epic sued Apple for eliminating it from its platform.

Following a recent ruling, developers can now circumvent the 30% sales commission taken by Apple through its proprietary payment system. This judgement did not favor either party, with Apple bemoaning the enforced acceptance of third-party payment options and Epic Games voicing displeasure over the judgement’s wording. The rejection of the companies’ appeals by the US Supreme Court marks the current situation.

Despite the ongoing disputes, the EU’s Digital Markets Act managed to coerce Apple into allowing third-party storefronts on iOS devices. This development will allow European residents to enjoy Fortnite once again, while Americans resort to Xbox Cloud Gaming or GeForce Now.

Interestingly, Disney has recently purchased equity in Epic Games for $1.5 billion. Given the amiable relations between Disney and Apple, this could potentially thaw the tension between the two technology corporations.