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Fortnite’s iPhone return is dead as Apple vs Epic somehow gets uglier

If Epic Games thought new EU laws enabling third-parties to set up shop on Apple platforms were a ticket to Fortnite’s return to iPhone, those hopes appear to have been dashed.

According to Epic, Apple has cancelled its recently reinstated developer account, which would have enabled it to launch the Epic Games Store – with Fortnite at its centre – in Europe.

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In a blog post today, just one day after Apple released iOS 17.4 to comply with the Digital Markets Act, Epic says Apple has terminated its developer account. And Epic is far from happy about it.

“This is a serious violation of the DMA and shows Apple has no intention of allowing true competition on iOS devices,” the company says in the explosive blog post.

“In terminating Epic’s developer account, Apple is taking out one of the largest potential competitors to the Apple App Store. They are undermining our ability to be a viable competitor and they are showing other developers what happens when you try to compete with Apple or are critical of their unfair practices.”

Epic also shared that Apple has called the Fortnite-maker “verifiably untrustworthy” in legal correspondence on the matter. In its public communications, Apple, said it was fully justified in kicking Epic out of the dev club because of an “egregious breach of contractual obligations”.

In a statement reported by 9to5Mac, Apple said: “Epic’s egregious breach of its contractual obligations to Apple led courts to determine that Apple has the right to terminate ‘any or all of Epic Games’ wholly owned subsidiaries, affiliates, and/or other entities under Epic Games’ control at any time and at Apple’s sole discretion.’ In light of Epic’s past and ongoing behaviour, Apple chose to exercise that right.”

Apple and Epic have been at war since 2020 when Epic attempted to bypass App Store guidelines by setting up its own marketplace within Fortnite. A protracted legal battle saw Apple largely come out on top. However, the EU guidelines that have now been put into place are exactly what Epic was campaigning for in the first place. It seems the company won’t be among those able to take advantage.

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