Apple has officially terminated Epic Games’ App Store account, Apple confirmed to The Verge.
The move follows the ongoing dispute between Apple and Epic over in-app payments that saw Epic break the App Store rules by adding a direct payment option to Fortnite that bypassed observing Apple’s 30% commission rule.
It means you can no longer download Fortnite or other Epic games such as Infinity Blade on iPhone, iPad, or Mac. You can’t even download them if you downloaded them previously, but they aren’t currently on your device.
It also means that the new Marvel-tinged season of Fortnite is not coming to Apple devices.
Apple’s statement reads:
“We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store. We have worked with the team at Epic Games for many years on their launches and releases. The court recommended that Epic comply with the App Store guidelines while their case moves forward, guidelines they’ve followed for the past decade until they created this situation. Epic has refused. Instead they repeatedly submit Fortnite updates designed to violate the guidelines of the App Store. This is not fair to all other developers on the App Store and is putting customers in the middle of their fight. We hope that we can work together again in the future, but unfortunately that is not possible today.”
Epic CEO Tim Sweeney replied to a 9to5Mac tweet disputing the wording of Apple’s statement:
Apple's statement isn't forthright. They chose to terminate Epic's account; they didn't *have* to.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 28, 2020
Apple suggests we spammed the App Store review process. That's not so. Epic submitted three Fortnite builds: two bug-fix updates, and the Season 4 update with this note. pic.twitter.com/VpWEERDp5L
It is not clear how the situation will proceed. Epic is suing Apple based on the claim that its 30% commission rule is unfair on developers. But in having its apps on the App Store, Epic had to agree to those terms, and then is accused of breaking them, so any court ruling is likely to side with Apple. A first court hearing implied a ruling may stop short of disrupting other developers’ access to Epic’s Unreal Engine platform, though.