Following a highly publicized legal battle between Epic Games and Apple which began after Apple had banned Fortnite from the App Store, a partial ruling came in earlier this month that ruled against both parties. 

However, the ruling against Apple was particularly notable as Apple is no longer allowed to block app developers from the following: 

    • “Apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to [in-app purchases]
    • Communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app”

With the legal battle seemingly wrapping up, questions have begun to crop up in regards to when Fortnite fans can look forward to the game’s return to the App Store.

Unfortunately, it seems like Apple is still a little spicy from all the legal drama as the company has reportedly blacklisted Fortnite “from the Apple ecosystem” according to Tim Sweeney of Epic Games. 

In terms of how long Fortnite will remain blacklisted, the information shared by Tim Sweeney notes the blacklist will remain in place, “Until the exhaustion of all court appeals, which could be as long as a 5-year process.” 

Fortnite Could Remain Blacklisted From Apple Ecosystem For The Next 5 Years

Before we dig into the fate of Fortnite on Apple, we want to take a moment to refresh you on how this whole feud between Apple and Epic Games got started. Back in 2020, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store due to Epic discounting the cost of V-Bucks, Fortnite’s in-game premium currency. 

As reported by Liana Ruppert here on Prima, “Apple removed the hit battle royale game from its App Store shortly after Epic Games added its own in-app pay service. The move overshot Apple’s 30% finder’s fee, which the mobile company says violates their standards and resulted in a ban.” 

The situation got even more heated when Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple for the ban, and also shared the cheeky 1984-themed “Free Fortnite” information which can still be viewed and read through over on the official Epic Games website

Fast forward to earlier this month when a partial ruling came down that technically ruled against both Epic and Apple. The ruling made it so that Apple can no longer block app developers from: 

  • “Apps and their metadata buttons, external links, or other calls to action that direct customers to purchasing mechanisms, in addition to [in-app purchases]
  • Communicating with customers through points of contact obtained voluntarily from customers through account registration within the app”

Meanwhile, the court ruled against arguments presented by Epic Games across all other aspects of the case noting they’d failed to demonstrate what they’d claimed.

As a result, Epic was ordered to award Apple requested damages for breach of contract, though each company remains responsible for their own legal fees as reported by Lucas White here on Prima back on September 10

With all of that information out of the way, it makes sense why Apple would want to continue to push back against Epic Games, and they’re definitely doing so as noted by a series of tweets from Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Epic Games.

The tweets begin with a statement from Sweeney which reads

“Apple lied. Apple spent a year telling the world, the court, and the press they’d ‘welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else.’ Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users.” 

Sweeney goes on to share documents where Epic had reportedly agreed to “play by the same rules as everyone else” per Apple’s request. Unfortunately, it looks like this isn’t enough for Apple as the following tweet confirms that Apple will be keeping Fortnite blacklisted for the foreseeable future.

“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.”
 

With that message from Apple, it seems like Epic Games won’t be able to reinstate Fortnite on the App Store as previously planned until said exhaustion of court appeals. It’s a huge blow to Epic Games, and also to Apple owners who’ve been looking forward to Fortnite’s return to the App Store.

We’ll be sure to keep you posted as the situation develops, until then, we’re curious to hear your thoughts on Apple’s new blow to Epic Games by keeping Fortnite blacklisted. Do you think Apple is in the right, or does the move come off as a bit petty?

Let us know in the comments below, or on our social media channels including Facebook and Twitter

Related: Court Ruling on Apple vs Epic Lawsuit Issues Injunction Against Apple