While Epic Games may see some positives coming out of today's Epic vs. Apple court rulings, it's not walking away from the case happy. While the judge did issue a permanent injunction forcing Apple to allow apps to offer third-party payment solutions, Epic itself didn't get anything out of its case. It didn't rule that Apple held a monopoly. It didn't rule that Apple's reasons for removing Fortnite from the App Store were illegal. It also didn't force Apple to let Fortnite back onto the App Store, which is how it will remain for the foreseeable future.
In a statement made on Twitter, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney confirmed iOS Fortnite players' fears. He says that Fortnite will remain off of the iOS App Store until Epic can offer in-app payments "in fair competition with Apple in-app payment." It can be assumed that he doesn't see the court's decision today as enough to create "fair competition." That means that Sweeney isn't planning on bringing Fortnite back to iOS devices anytime soon.
The context of Sweeney's statement might provide a better idea of what he wants to see happen. Sweeney is all but saying that Epic plans to appeal the court's decision. In a prior tweet, Sweeney explains that he doesn't see the court's decision as "a win for developers or for consumers." He also refers to Epic continuing to figure for "fair competition." If Sweeney is planning to appeal, then re-publishing Fortnite on iOS while arguing that what Apple has done is illegal wouldn't be particularly persuasive.
Fortnite will return to the iOS App Store when and where Epic can offer in-app payment in fair competition with Apple in-app payment, passing along the savings to consumers.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 10, 2021
Those hoping for a timeline aren't going to be happy. Appeals processes can take months and don't have a maximum time limit. Epic is also capable of appealing the case higher and higher without much worry for resources. Even if Epic decides not to appeal, Sweeney makes clear he doesn't plan on bringing Fortnite back to iOS.
If Sweeney and Epic's rhetoric at the moment is to be believed, then there's a distinct possibility that Fortnite isn't going to be brought back to iOS at all. Epic's court case has, obviously, not worked out as planned. And Sweeney doesn't seem willing to change his mind without dramatic change.
For the time being, all Fortnite players from iOS devices can do is wait and hope the situation between Apple and Epic resolves itself one way or another. There's really no other solution at hand, other than finding a different platform to play Fortnite on.
Fortnite is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Related Forum: Mobile Devices