Apple blocks Epic request to restore Fortnite on iPhone in South Korea UPDATE: Sweeney blasts move as “vindictive and nonsensical”.
UPDATE 3.55pm UK: Epic boss Tim Sweeney has branded Apple’s continued blocking of its developer tools as “petty and ridiculous”. It comes after Epic asked for its developer access to be restored so it could relaunch Fortnite – including its direct-to-Epic payment method – in South Korea following a law change there. More on all that below.
“Like Apple’s attempt to retaliate against all Unreal Engine customers, their refusal to restore Epic’s Fortnite developer account is vindictive and nonsensical,” Sweeney wrote on Twitter. “We’re fighting Apple over their iOS terms, but this ban blocks Fortnite from Mac too. Nobody’s arguing about Mac.
“Mac is a highly secure open platform, like iOS should be. Mac users are free to install software from third party sources like Steam and Epic Games Store, as iOS users should be. Apple holding Mac users hostage to an iOS dispute is petty and ridiculous.”
ORIGINAL STORY 11.20am UK: Last night, Fortnite maker Epic Games asked Apple to restore its iOS developer access in South Korea, following a key law change in the country.
The new legislation, due to take effect in South Korea next week, will see app store providers forced to allow developers to take payment directly – the issue that got Fortnite kicked off the app store in the first place.
Responding to Epic’s latest request to return, Apple said… no.
Last night, Epic publicised its request to Apple via a post to the Fortnite Twitter account, which has 13.3m followers.
“Epic has asked Apple to restore our Fortnite developer account,” the statement read. “Epic intends to re-release Fortnite on iOS in Korea offering both Epic payment and Apple payment side-by-side in compliance with the new Korean law.”
But Reuters subsequently reported Apple had simply declined.
The new South Korean law states a developer should be able to take payment directly, without using Apple’s payment systems which see it take a cut.
But, of course, there’s nothing in the law that says Apple as a platform holder is required to allow certain companies onto its app store in the first place.
“We would welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else,” Apple told Reuters in a brief statement.
There’s still no word on an outcome of the main Epic vs. Apple trial which took place earlier this year – or when one might be expected.
Epic has not yet responded to Apple’s new refusal, but Eurogamer has asked for comment.