The CEO of Epic Games teased Fortnite fans that the game will once again be playable on iPhone in 2023.
That would be quite a turnaround, as Apple blocked Epic from the App Store back in 2020 during a lengthy court battle. But new EU regulations likely will allow the game developer to do an end run around the block.
Epic CEO says Fortnite will be back on iPhone in 2023
Epic Games went to court with Apple trying to escape the 30% commission charged by the App Store. The judge’s decision was mixed, but did not truly resolve the dispute as Apple refuses to unblock Fortnite and other games while the appeals process goes on.
Then the European Union threw Epic Games a lifeline. Its Digital Markets Act will require Apple to enable sideloading of applications onto iPhones in early 2024, so the App Store won’t be the only way to install software onto iOS devices.
It seems Epic Games is going to take advantage of the change. CEO Tim Sweeney said on New Year’s Eve, “Next Year on iOS!”
Expect another battle
The likeliest scenario is that Fortnite won’t be in the App Store but fans will be able to sideload it onto their iPhone. Although iPhone users are very accustomed to only getting software from the App Store, it’s quite possible that Fortnite is popular enough to survive on direct downloads.
Other large game developers surely will be watching closely to learn if they too can get by without the App Store … and Apple’s 30% commission. Of course, Cupertino likely will do everything it can to restrict sideloading within the constraints of the EU law. Apple and Epic Games could easily end up in court again over any sideloading limitations.
You have Fortnite options
iPhone users don’t have to wait months to play Fortnite. It’s available now through Xbox Cloud Gaming. Read the Cult of Mac guide playing Fortnite on iPhone for details on the workaround.
Alternatively, rival battle game PUBG Mobile is in the App Store.