- On August 13, the wildly popular game “Fortnite” got an update on Apple and Android smartphones that allowed players to bypass the companies’ digital payment systems. Instead of going through Apple and Google, payments went directly to the “Fortnite” studio, Epic Games.
- In response, Apple and Google pulled “Fortnite” from their digital storefronts and cited the update as a terms-of-service violation — which caused Epic to sue both companies.
- The game is now unable to be updated through the Apple App Store. With the latest “Fortnite” season update, iPhone and iPad players just got left behind.
- “These are the final days of the entire ‘Fortnite’ community’s ability to play together,” Epic Games said in a mid-August blog post. “Players on iOS devices will be left behind on Chapter 2 – Season 3 while everyone else jumps into the Chapter 2 – Season 4 launch on August 27.”
- As of August 28, Apple has officially ended Epic’s contracts — and all of Epic’s other games on the App Store have been pulled.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
When Apple yanked “Fortnite” from the App Store on August 13, the move had a ripple effect on the millions of people already playing the game on iPhones and iPads: When the next season launched on August 27, those players would left in the past.
“These are the final days of the entire ‘Fortnite’ community’s ability to play together,” Epic Games said in a blog post in mid August. “Players on iOS devices will be left behind on Chapter 2 – Season 3 while everyone else jumps into the Chapter 2 – Season 4 launch on August 27.”
In short: When the next season went live, iPhone and iPad players weren’t able to move forward or play the next season with their friends on other platforms.
On August 28, the day after the new “Fortnite” season went live, Apple officially ended Epic’s developer contracts. The studio’s other games were pulled from the store, and they are also unable to be updated — and iOS version of “Fornite” will not be updated for the foreseeable future.
“Once Chapter 2 – Season 4 begins, players accessing ‘Fortnite’ will still be able to play the 13.40 version of ‘Fortnite,'” according to Epic, “but will not be able to access any new content or the new Battle Pass. Cosmetic purchases will still work across all platforms.”
There’s another option for people who want to play the new season: Since “Fortnite” enables players to carry over progress between platforms, you could log in through another platform — Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, and even Android — and play the next season there. If and when Apple and Epic resolve their squabble, your progress will presumably carry back to the iPhone and iPad versions of the game.
“Fortnite” was pulled from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store on August 13 following an update issued by Epic that gave users the option to bypass the companies’ digital payment systems (seen above).
Instead of buying in-game virtual money (known as V-bucks) through Apple or Google, players could buy it directly from Epic — at a 20% discount, no less. Apple and Google said the update was a terms-of-service violation for any developer with an app on the App Store or Google Play.
“Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services,” Apple said in a statement.
In response, the two main smartphone conglomerates pulled “Fortnite” from their respective digital storefronts. Epic Games, anticipating as much, filed suits against each company.
Epic had filed for a temporary restraining order against Apple that would’ve put “Fortnite” back on the App Store, and enabled Epic to update the game (as well as its other games on the App Store), at least while the legal battle between the two is ongoing.
The request for that temporary restraining order was partially denied in a decision issued late on Monday night, meaning that “Fortnite” will stay off the App Store.
At the same time, the court did make a decision in Epic’s favor, when it blocked Apple from revoking its access to key iPhone and Mac development tools that would’ve had major implications for any games made with Epic’s game creation tools, Unreal Engine. Apple had previously said that Epic’s access to its development tools would be revoked as soon as August 28, but is now barred from following through for the time being.
Despite being pulled from Google’s official Android storefront, “Fortnite” players on Android are able to bypass the Play store and download the game directly from Epic.
Got a tip? Contact Business Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.