Over the past three years, we have seen lots happen in Fortnite, from the game going from Chapter 3, Chapter 4, a return to the OG map, and now Chapter 5. The new Chapter 5 also saw the additions of the LEGO Fortnite, Rocket Racing, and Fortnite Festival modes. However, iOS users didn’t get to experience any of that because the game hasn’t been updated since Chapter 2.
Since Chapter 2 Season 3, Epic Games has been embroiled in a lawsuit with Apple, which stemmed from Epic Games standing up against Apple’s high transaction fee on its platforms.
This came about after Epic Games launched its Epic Games Launcher platform which only takes a 12% fee compared to the industry standard of 30%, causing the company to try and encourage other platforms to lower its fees by withholding Fortnite from it.
In December 2023, Google lost an antitrust trial against Epic Games, which could see it be forced to lower its fees on the Google Play Store, depending on the result of the current appeal. Currently, Steam, PlayStation, and Nintendo each take a 30% fee for transactions, but in 2021 Xbox announced that it will lower its fee to match Epic Games’ 12%.
Despite losing millions of dollars in lawsuits, Epic Games is persistent in trying to make things better for developers and it seems to be paying off as Apple recently took its first major blow.
In a post on X, Epic Games announced that Fortnite will be returning to iOS devices in 2024 saying,
This is the first major win for Epic Games since it began its lawsuit with Apple over three years ago, which has seen the two companies battle it out in court, which recently saw Apple request that Epic Games pay 90% of its legal fees, estimated to be over $73 million.
Following Epic Games’ lawsuit with Apple, which began in August 2020, Fortnite players on iOS have been stuck on Chapter 2 Season 3, which is the season that saw the map flooded and Aqua Man come to the game as part of the Battle Pass.
If you’re one of the lucky few who still have the game on your device, you can jump into a season that hasn’t been in the game for over three years now. The Item Shop did continue to update daily until February 2023 when it was removed from the iOS version of the game.
Players within the EU, which excludes the UK due to the country leaving the EU in 2020, will soon be able to jump into the current Chapter 5 map using an iOS device as it will be readded to the platform in 2024. This is because of a new EU law called the Digital Markets Act (DMA) regulating digital platform services, which has forced Apple to allow third-party stores to be loaded onto its devices.
This means that the Epic Games Launcher can be legally released on iOS to provide players with a platform to download Fortnite and other mobile games owned by Epic Games.
Currently, this doesn’t apply to any other countries outside of the EU, meaning that most of its iOS player base will still be unable to access the game. But, this could be the first step to seeing Fortnite return to Apple devices if other countries decide to follow suit and stop Apple’s monopolization of the market.
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