Epic Games

Apple can wait on major App Store change until Supreme Court ruling


App Store faces barrage of antitrust charges
The fate of the App Store anti-steering policy is up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels CC

Apple is hoping to take its lawsuit with Epic Games all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and on Monday received permission to hold off on making a significant change to the App Store ordered by lower courts until there’s a final decision by the high court.

This means the Mac-maker won’t have to change its App Store policy that prevents developers from sending customers to their websites to pay for apps or services… yet.

Game on! Fortnite is apparently returning to iPhone.


Epic Games v. Apple gets serious next spring.
Epic Games CEO is optimistic that Fortnite will once again be available for iPhone by the end of the year.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

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.

Fortnite returns to iPhone with clever workaround – here’s how to play!


Fortnite returns to iPhone with clever workaround – here's how to play!
If you've been missing Fortnite, you can play it now on iPhone or iPad.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Fortnite got kicked out of the App Store as part of a legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, but you can play it on your iPhone today for free. Microsoft added it to Xbox Cloud Gaming so the combat game is playable on iOS and iPadOS devices.

Setting up your iPhone or iPad to play Fortnite from the cloud rather than the App Store is different from what you’re used to. Not hard, just different. I’ll walk you through it.

Unreal Engine 5 launches to make games more awesome


Unreal Engine 5 launches to make games more awesome
This is what games can look like with Unreal Engine 5.
Image: Epic Games

Epic Games gave developers access to Unreal Engine 5, the next generation of its tool for creating 3D games. It offers “a collection of groundbreaking features for rendering real-time worlds in incredible high-fidelity detail.”

The new version of this software-development environment released Tuesday replaces Unreal Engine 4, which has been around since 2014. It’s used in many Mac, iPhone and/or iPad games, including Injustice 2 and Darkness Rises.

Roblox sides with Apple in App Store battle against Epic Games


Roblox has a good relationship with Apple it wouldn't want to ruin.
Image: Roblox

It would appear that large sections of the developer community are firmly behind Epic Games in its battle for a fairer, more open App Store. But not Roblox, which believes Apple’s strict controls enhance safety and security.

The online game platform, which calls itself a metaverse company and boasts almost 55 million daily active users, said in a legal filing this week that the App Store review process adds “greater legitimacy in the eyes of users.”

US states and Microsoft back Epic Games in fight against the App Store


Epic Games vs. the App Store
It's getting harder for Apple to defend its rules.
Image: Epic Games

The Department of Justice, 35 U.S. states, and Microsoft have all backed Fortnite developer Epic Games in its fight against the App Store.

Briefs filed by Epic’s supporters with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit say last year’s ruling — which said the App Store was not a monopoly — is wrong. They also claim Apple is stifling competition.

Fortnite returns to iPhone and iPad, thanks to Nvidia


Fortnite iOS 14
Who needs the App Store?
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Fortnite is returning to iPhone and iPad — but you won’t find it in the App Store. Starting next week, the hit battle royale game will be available to stream through Nvidia’s GeForce now, complete with brand-new touch controls.

Players will initially have to sign up to join the closed beta, which requires an active GeForce Now membership, designed to help Nvidia test server capacity and performance. But Fortnite eventually will roll out to all GeForce Now subscribers.

The move is somewhat of a kick in the teeth for Apple, which has been determined to block Fortnite on its own platforms since it booted Epic Games, the game’s creator, from the App Store for breaking the rules.

PlayStation Now was on its way to iPhone before Sony changed its mind


PlayStation Now
Sony changed its mind.
Photo: Sony

PlayStation Now, the streaming service that gives players access to more than 500 PlayStation 3 and 4 games, was on its way to iPhone and iPad back in 2017, according to documents that have surfaced as part of the Epic vs. Apple trial.

Apple had inside knowledge of Sony’s plans back in 2017, before PlayStation Now made its official debut. But for reasons currently unknown, the Japanese company never followed through on support for mobile devices.

Court delays App Store changes as Apple appeals contentious ruling


App Store
The App Store won‘t see any changes to payment methods. For now.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Developers will have to put plans to steer App Store users to their own direct payments systems on the back burner. A court on Wednesday granted Apple’s request to put the change on hold while the iPhone-maker appeals the Epic Games v. Apple court ruling.

Any modifications to the App Store resulting from the lawsuit are now in limbo… quite possibly for years.

Rocket League blasts onto iPhone and iPad, but not as you know it


Rocket League Sideswipe for iPhone and iPad
The free-to-play game is available to download now.
Photo: Psyonix

Rocket League has finally made its way to iPhone and iPad — but it’s not quite the same game that has proven popular on consoles and PC. Sideswipe is a brand-new take on the formula that’s built specifically for mobile play.

The free-to-play game features 1v1 or 2v2 matches in which players battle it out to get the ball into the opponent’s net. Both “soccar” and “Hoops” game modes are available, and the Rocket Pass and Seasons are coming soon.

Epic CEO calls for single App Store for all, says ‘Apple must be stopped’


Epic Games vs. the App Store
Tim Sweeney is not a fan of the App Store.
Photo: Epic Games

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney renewed his attack on the App Store, telling a conference in South Korea that “Apple must be stopped.”

Sweeney, who spoke Tuesday at the Global Conference for Mobile Application Ecosystem Fairness, accused Apple of complying with “oppressive foreign laws.” He also called for “a single store that works with all platforms.”

App Store must add third-party payments by December 9


App Store
Apple motion for a delay has been denied.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered Apple to add third-party payment options to the App Store by December 9, after denying the company’s motion for a stay in Fortnite developer Epic Games’ case against Cupertino.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said the motion, which argued that Apple needed time to implement the changes, was based on “a selective reading of the Court’s findings” and “ignores everything” in favor of an injunction.

Apple appeals case against Epic Games, asks to delay App Store changes


Epic Games v. Apple is just getting started
Apple vs. Epic Games drags on.
Photo: Apple/Epic Games

Apple has appealed the September ruling of its lengthy legal battle against Epic Games, despite spinning it as a significant win for the company. It has also asked to delay changes to the App Store while the appeal is ongoing.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled in Apple’s favor in nine out of ten counts against its App Store policies, but sided with Epic on one very important one: That third-party app-makers should be allowed to offer other payment systems.

Apple SVP and General Counsel Kate Adams said the company was “very pleased with the ruling” and called it “a huge win for Apple.” It seems, however, that maybe Cupertino wasn’t quite as pleased as it claimed.

‘Duplicitous conduct’ earns Fortnite extended App Store ban


Epic Games v. Apple is just getting started
If you thought the war between Apple and epic Games was over, think again.
Graphic: Epic Games/Cult of Mac

The first phase of the legal war between Apple and Epic Games is over, and a Federal court agreed with the game developer in some of the major points in their lawsuit. But Apple refuses to reinstate Fortnite and other Epic titles to its App Store during the appeals process.

The iPhone maker says this is the result of “Epic’s duplicitous conduct” leading to the lawsuit.

Epic Games pays $6 million owed to Apple, asks for its dev account back


Epic Games vs. Apple
That's a lot of Benjamins.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Epic Games on Monday confirmed it has paid the $6 million it owed to Apple in royalties just days after it was ordered by the court. The fee covers Apple’s cut for in-game revenues collected between August 2020 and October 2020 when Epic allowed Fortnite players on iPhone and iPad to make direct purchases.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney also said that the company has asked Apple to restore its developer account.

Epic Games appeals App Store case against Apple


Epic vs. Apple
The fight continues.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

You might think Fortnite creator Epic Games would be pretty ecstatic with the recent ruling that says Apple must allow developers to offer third-party payment methods inside their iOS apps. But that’s not the case.

Epic has expressed its dissatisfaction with the outcome in recent days, and has now confirmed it has filed a notice of appeal against the decision. It seems the company has no plans to bring Fortnite back to iOS just yet.

Apple blocks Epic’s request to bring Fortnite back to iPhone and iPad [Updated]


Fortnite iOS 14
Nice try, Epic Games.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Epic Games has asked Apple to reinstate its developer account so that it can bring Fortnite back to iPhone and iPad in Korea, where a new bill could allow it to offer its own payment system alongside Apple’s for in-app purchases.

But unfortunately for Fortnite fans, Apple isn’t having any of it. Cupertino said in a statement to Cult of Mac that it will only allow Epic to return to the App Store when it agrees “to play by the same rules as everyone else.”

Update: A U.S. judge made her ruling in the Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit on Friday, and is requiring Apple to allow  developers like Epic Games to set up their own direct-payment systems. This could bring Fortnite back to the App Store.

South Korea is first to say App Store must allow third-party payments


It's a major win for developers and users, and other countries are expected to follow suit.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

South Korea has become the first country to tell Apple that it must open up the App Store to third-party payment platforms. The same law also applies to Google, and other countries likely will implement similar rules.

The amendment to South Korea’s Telecommunications Business Act prevents large app market operators from forcing their own payment systems on users and developers. It also bans unreasonable delays in app approvals.

Press start to resume: Epic’s battle with Apple allowed to continue in Oz


Epic Games mocked Apple with a ‘1984’ parody.
The battle has been raging since last summer.
Screenshot: Epic Games

There’s no outcome yet announced for Epic Games’ battle with Apple in the United States. But the Australian Federal Court just handed a victory (of sorts) to the Fornite maker: giving it permission to proceed with its fight with Apple in Oz.

The lawsuit alleges that Apple is abusing its position in the marketplace by not allowing companies to distribute their apps on iOS outside the App Store. Epic’s efforts to battle Apple in Australia temporarily halted earlier this year due to a jurisdiction clauses stopping Australian lawsuits from proceeding if a similar case is being heard elsewhere in the world. The judge said they wanted to see what the US case would conclude before continue.

However, three Federal Court judges have ruled that it can continue — since it involves conduct in the Australian market that is of importance to the public.

Tim Cook’s hotly anticipated Epic trial testimony is a big nothingburger


Tim Cook makes the case for Apple during Congress' antitrust hearing.
Tim Cook makes the case for Apple during the Epic Games v. Apple trial.
Photo: C-SPAN

As the Epic Games v. Apple trial winds down, Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the witness stand Friday to deliver a big fat nothingburger.

Trial watchers were hoping Cook would deliver dramatic and explosive testimony, but he mostly dodged, demurred or couldn’t remember.

Tim Cook will testify in court as part of Epic lawsuit later today


Tim Cook
"Good morning. I've got some great testimony to share with you today."
Photo: Apple

You don’t get bigger witnesses when it comes to an Apple trial than Tim Cook. Cook, the 10-year CEO of Apple, will today take the stand in the ongoing court case pitting Apple against Fortnite maker Epic.

With the trial expected to end Monday, Cook’s Friday testimony will be a “One more thing” event as Apple’s lawyers attempt to dismantle Epic’s case (and vice versa on the part of Epic’s legal team).

Apple software chief admits there’s too much Mac malware


Craig Federighi says iPhone does a better job of protecting customers than macOS.
Photo: Apple

Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of software engineering, told a court on Wednesday that there’s more Mac malware available than Apple’s executive team is comfortable with. And he says iPhones do a much better job of protecting users.

Federighi was testifying at the Epic Games v. Apple trial explaining why he thinks the iPhone-maker’s tight control of the iOS App Store is necessary.

Judge signals possible solution for Epic Games v. Apple court battle


App Store faces barrage of antitrust charges
The judge may have dropped a hint about how she might end the court fight between Epic Games and Apple.
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels CC

If the judge in the Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit decides to rule against the iPhone-maker, she may have already signaled the significant App Store change she would order to satisfy the game developer’s complaints.

The judge asked a question that shows she’s considering allowing developers to point customers to their own websites to make in-app purchases. Currently, these purchases must go through Apple’s payment system.

Epic Games makes solid arguments that Apple is a monopoly


Monopoly board game
Maybe Apple really is a monopoly.
Photo: Kathy Marsh/Unsplash CC

At the core of Epic Games’ lawsuit against Apple is the assertion that the iPhone-maker has a monopoly. With testimony from an expert witness, the game developer has begun laying out its arguments to convince the judge why she should agree.

Essentially, it claims that switching from iPhone to another device is so difficult that Apple can treat its users as if they had no other options.

Why Apple needs to ramp up its app review team


Trust in the App Store is critical to the success of the iPhone.
Confidence in the App Store is so critical to the success of the iPhone that Apple needs to stop handling app review with an inadequate staff.
Graphic: Apple

The process for checking applications submitted to the App Store became the major focus of the Epic Games v. Apple court battle Friday. An important detail that came to light is that Apple employs 500 human experts checking submissions.

Epic Games used Friday’s trial testimony to bring to light fraudulent or inappropriate apps that slipped past Apple’s review team and onto the App Store. Fortunately, the problem is fixable: Put more people on the job. Double or triple the number.