After not being available for over three years, the world-famous game Fortnite, with characters like Marshmello, Thanos, Lara Croft, and John Wick, is coming back to iPhones at last. This is big news for fans of the battle royale game because Fortnite was previously removed from iPhones due to a big chaotic disagreement between Epic Games, the company that developed Fortnite, and Apple, makers of the iPhone. This dispute was mainly over Apple not allowing other ways to pay within apps.
However, things are changing because of new rules in the European Union that make big tech companies like Apple open up more to other companies. This means Fortnite can be on iPhones again. But everything is not as it seems. There is a little catch to it as the new DMA rules only apply iPhones for now, not iPads, and that, too, for users exclusively in the EU.
So, later this year, iPhone users in the European Union can look forward to playing Fortnite once again. As for the exact details, we look into it in the rest of this article.
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What Is Fortnite and Why It’s Such a Big Deal?
For those new to the gaming scene, let’s get you up to speed with Fortnite. Created by Epic Games, this battle royale sensation has been captivating players since its release in 2017. Though it started as a game focused on building bases and defending against zombies, Fortnite quickly shifted gears to become a battle royale game and has since continuously broadened its gameplay options.
You can check out Fortnite for yourself by getting an account from Eldorado where you also get access to cool character skins as well as many different popular skins, including but not limited to, Goku, Agent Jones, Picolo, Naruto, and even the iconic Master Chief.
When Fortnite Is Coming to iPhones (iOS)?
Fortnite’s comeback to iPhones is exciting news, but for now, it’s only happening in Europe. People in other countries, like the United States, India, and China; will have to wait a bit longer, as there’s no information on when Fortnite will be available for iPhones outside the EU. For those not in Europe, playing Fortnite on Xbox Cloud Gaming or GeForce Now remains an option.
Epic Games has revealed that when Fortnite does return to iOS, it won’t be via the Apple App Store. Instead, it will be available through a new Epic Games Store for iOS. Its release date is not confirmed yet. It will only be announced once all the regulatory details have been sorted out.
Fortnite’s coming to iOS has been made possible by a new law that was passed by the European Union called the Digital Markets Act (DMA). In that, this new law requires companies like Apple to allow users in the EU to use other marketplaces on their devices. The final date for Apple to implement on all the changes under this law is March 2024. As such, Epic Games plans to bring back Fortnite to iPhones around this timeframe.
Although the exact date for Fortnite’s return is still up in the air, Epic has confirmed that players will be able to download the game through the Epic Games Store for iOS once it’s officially back. The DMA, which was put in place in November 2022, sets a deadline for services to comply by March 6, 2024. So, it’s possible that Fortnite could make its return as early as March 7, 2024.
Apple has adjusted its App Store policies to meet the requirements of the EU’s DMA. This act will be in full swing by March, coinciding with the launch of Fortnite Chapter 5 Season 2. Thanks to these changes, iPhone users will soon have the option to download apps through third-party stores, including the much-anticipated Epic Store on iOS, where Fortnite will be available.
Why Fortnite Is Not Coming to Other Regions?
Even though iPhone users can play Fortnite through cloud services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia’s GeForce Now, there hasn’t been any news from Epic Games about the game launching in other countries. However, Epic Games seems determined to continue its dispute with Apple. The company has stated on X that it will keep fighting in court and telling regulators that Apple’s actions are against the law.
For now, Fortnite will soon be able to be played in several European countries due to the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA), which starts on March 6. This act allows Fortnite to bypass the rules of Apple’s App Store in these regions. That’s why there’s hope Fortnite will come back to iOS devices around March 7, 2024, but this date might change as Epic Games has asked fans to wait for more details as they work through the regulatory process.
Nevertheless, there remains a way around this situation for people living outside the EU. Since an iOS version of Epic Games Store will be accessible in the EU, users could try changing their iOS device’s region to EU countries and access Fortnite. However, this workaround might not work if Apple decides to lock the access based on the region of the hardware.
As such, Epic Games is encouraging everyone to stay tuned as they navigate through these regulations and continue their legal battle against Apple.
Why Fortnite Was Originally Removed from the Apple AppStore?
In 2020, Apple took Fortnite off its App Store after a big chaotic disagreement with Epic Games. The conflicts of fires between the 2 companies sparked over how Apple runs its App Store.
For those unaware, Apple likes to keep tight control over payments, especially for things like app subscriptions, and insists that payments go through Apple. This means Apple gets a 30% share of all the money spent inside apps like Fortnite.
Unsurprisingly, Epic Games thought this was really unfair to both the players and the wider world of software. To get around this, the Devs set up a different way to pay within Fortnite, letting players buy stuff directly.
And since this move didn’t follow Apple’s rules, it led to Fortnite being banned on iOS devices for breaching the agreement. As you may have guessed, Epic didn’t just stay quiet about it; they made a video challenging Apple’s control over app sales, calling it a fight against a monopoly. Since then, the disagreement between Apple and Epic has only gotten bigger, with both companies winning and losing legal battles against each other.
It’s great news that Fortnite is returning to iOS in the EU, but it would be even better if it were available worldwide. Epic Games has committed to continuing its legal fight against Apple, which could eventually make Fortnite accessible in more regions. There’s still hope, and we’re optimistic for a future where everyone can enjoy Fortnite on their iOS devices, no matter where they are. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for the best outcome.