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Apple offers Fortnite a way back to iOS – on one condition

Apple has said it would welcome Fortnite back into the App Store if Epic Games drops the direct payment method it recently added to the game.

Although a California judge granted Fortnite developer Epic Games a temporary injunction to prevent Apple removing access to the Unreal Engine used by third-party developers, she ruled in favour of Apple’s desire to remove the Epic Games developer account on August 28.

The judge said Epic’s predicament came partially of its own doing because it made a “calculated” decision to “breach” the App Store terms right before the new season of Fortnite launched.

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Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers called on Epic to “flip the switch to the way it was” before adding the payment method, in order to ensure none of the parties involved suffered any harm. That would enable the matter to be resolved in a more traditional case at a later date, Judge Rogers said.

Apple has highlighted the element of the verdict that favoured the iPhone maker and again stated how its App Store policies are in place to protect users.

“We thank the court for recognizing that Epic’s problem is entirely self-inflicted and is in their power to resolve. Our very first priority is making sure App Store users have a great experience in a safe and trusted environment, including iPhone users who play Fortnite and who are looking forward to the game’s next season,” Apple told Trusted Reviews in a statement.

“We agree with Judge Gonzalez-Rogers that ‘the sensible way to proceed’ is for Epic to comply with the App Store guidelines and continue to operate while the case proceeds. If Epic takes the steps the judge has recommended, we will gladly welcome Fortnite back onto iOS. We look forward to making our case to the court in September.”

Epic of course believes that the App Store policy on in-app purchases, which grants the host a 30% cut of all revenue, is unjust and harms competition. This isn’t over by a long shot, but we’d expect common sense to prevail for now, allowing both mega-rich companies to continue making a few quid before it’s settled one way or another.

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