Video Games

Fortnite ‘blacklisted’ by Apple, Epic Games CEO says

Following a ruling in Fortnite creator Epic Games’ lawsuit against Apple, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney says Apple will blacklist Fortnite from its ecosystem until its appeals process makes the judgment final.

“Apple lied,” Sweeney said on Twitter. “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 said that Apple’s decision could keep Fortnite off iOS and Mac platforms for as long as five years as the appeals process plays out.

Though Epic Games has appealed the court’s ruling in the Apple case, Sweeney promised that Epic Games would “adhere to Apple’s guidelines” should the company get its developer account back. (The account, which gives developers access to Apple tools, was suspended last year, which sparked the lawsuit.) Sweeney tweeted Wednesday that Apple has declined the request to reinstate the developer program account.

“In light of this and other statements since the court’s decision, coupled with Epic’s duplicitous conduct in the past, Apple has exercised its discretion not to reinstate Epic’s developer program at this time,” Apple lawyer Mark A. Perry wrote in an email to Epic published by Sweeney. “Furthermore, Apple will not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgement becomes final and nonappealable.”

An Epic Games representative told Polygon it has no further comment. We’ve reached out to Apple for more information, too.

On Sept. 10, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a permanent injunction that required Apple to allow App Store developers to push their users to third-party payment systems. Though a small part of the lawsuit, it was a victory for developers interested in circumventing App Store terms that give Apple a 30% cut of sales made through the store. Apple, however, also claimed victory in the lawsuit: The judge said Apple does not have an illegal monopoly on “mobile gaming transactions.”

Epic will also pay Apple a portion of the Fortnite revenue it gained following the move that kickstarted the lawsuit. Epic owes 30% of the $12.1 million it made from V-Buck sales from August to October 2020, plus 30% of the amount it made from the Epic Direct Payment scheme, according to the ruling.



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