Fortnite will not be available for download on the iOS App Store any time soon

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Photo: Chris Delmas/AFP (Getty Images) – Apple will not let Fortnite back in until all legal appeals have been exhausted, according to Epic CEO Tim Sweeney.

After more than a year of legal wrangling between Apple and Epic Games, a federal court issued a permanent order enabling iOS developers to lead customers to third-party payment gateways earlier this month, it appeared that things had tilted in favor of the latter. However, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney stated today that Apple notified the business that Fortnite will be blocked “until all legal appeals are exhausted.”

Sweeney remarked on Twitter, “Apple lied.” “Apple spent a year assuring the world, the court, and the press that they’d welcome Epic’s return to the App Store provided they agreed to follow the same standards as everyone else. Epic agreed, and now Apple is abusing its dominant position over a billion people by reneging.”

Sweeney then included screencaps of an email he sent to Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of the App Store and Apple Events. Sweeney adds in the email, dated Sept. 16, 2021, that Apple has blocked payments server-side and paid Apple $6 million as required by the court. He also mentions that Epic has asked Apple to reinstate its Fortnite development account, which was deactivated by Apple last year, and that the firm has convinced Schiller that it would follow Apple’s standards.

“Epic will resubmit Fortnite to the App Store provided you follow the simple text of the court decision and enable applications to include buttons and external links that drive users to alternate buying mechanisms without onerous conditions or obstacles to a pleasant user experience,” Sweeney said in the email.

Sweeney then shared another screenshot of a letter from Apple’s legal team. Apple writes in it that Epic’s developer account was canceled “for reason” owing to a “intentional violation of contract.” It then quotes Sweeney’s prior public remarks in which he stated that Epic would not accept other payments merely to get Fortnite back on the App Store.

“In light of these and other comments after the court’s judgment, as well as Epic’s previous dishonest behavior, Apple has exercised its discretion not to restore Epic’s developer program account at this time,” the letter states. “Furthermore, Apple will not consider any additional reinstatement petitions until the district court’s ruling becomes final and non-appealable.”

Clearly, the two corporations do not get along. This isn’t the first time Epic has attempted to resurrect Fortnite. It petitioned the court last year to reinstate Fortnite in the App Store while its legal fights with Apple were ongoing. Epic didn’t do well in court, as the judge ruled that Apple’s decision to close the account was “valid, lawful, and enforceable.”

To be fair, the court’s order made no mention of Apple having to restore the Fortnite app. “If Epic chooses to bring Fortnite back to iOS customers depends on whether and where Apple adjusts its rules to offer for a fair playing field between Apple In-App Purchase and alternative ways of payment,” Sweeney said in his email to Schiller. If Apple allows Fortnite back into the App Store, that sentence, along with the legal team’s remark of “duplicitous behaviour in the past,” might indicate that the corporation is leery of Epic’s proclivity for theatrics.

TL;DR— Expect Fortnite to be removed from the iOS App Store, as well as the rest of the Apple ecosystem, in the near future, or at least until the legal process is concluded. Sweeney estimates that it might take up to five years. Gizmodo has reached out to Apple for comment on the situation, and we’ll update this article if they respond.