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    Epic vs. Apple: Fortnite Returns to iOS Under New EU Regulations

      TL;DR: Fortnite is poised to make a comeback on iOS devices in the European Union in 2024, as announced by Epic Games. This return is facilitated by the new iOS version of the Epic Games Store, a move influenced by the Digital Markets Act, which allows developers to publish their own app stores on Apple's platform. The reintroduction of Fortnite comes after its removal in 2020 due to a dispute with Apple over direct in-app payments, bypassing Apple's fees. Despite Apple's recent announcement of new app development options, the core issue between Epic Games and Apple remains unresolved, particularly regarding direct payments and control over app distribution.

    Epic Games' New iOS Strategy for Fortnite

    Fortnite, the popular battle royale game by Epic Games, is set to make a comeback on Apple's iOS devices, but with a regional limitation. In a significant move, Epic Games has announced that Fortnite will be accessible to players in the European Union through a newly developed iOS version of the Epic Games Store, slated for release in 2024. The exact date for this launch remains unspecified. This return marks a pivotal moment for Fortnite, which had been absent from the Apple device ecosystem for years.

    Impact of the Digital Markets Act

    The reintroduction of Fortnite on iOS devices in the EU is a direct consequence of the Digital Markets Act passed in December 2022. This legislation allows developers to introduce their own app stores on Apple's platform, a change that was anticipated to take effect in 2024. The timing of Epic Games' announcement aligns with Apple's recent declaration about new options for app developers on its platform. These options include the ability to offer varied in-app experiences, such as streaming games, within a single application.

    Continued Dispute Over App Store Policies

    The core of the dispute between Epic Games and Apple dates back to August 2020, when Epic implemented a direct payment method in its Fortnite iOS app. This move enabled users to make payments directly to Epic, bypassing Apple's App Store fees. Apple responded by removing Fortnite from the App Store and terminating Epic's developer accounts, citing a violation of its policies. Despite Apple's latest announcement regarding app development options, it does not seem to accommodate direct in-app payments without using Apple's In-App Purchase system. Epic Games has consistently criticized Apple for exerting excessive control over iOS app development and distribution, a stance that appears unchanged even in light of recent developments.

    Image Credit: Epic Games

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