Fortnite

Supreme Court refuses to speed up major App Store change

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Is Apple’s deal to make Google Safari’s default search engine anticompetitive?
The Supreme Court won't immediately end Apple's anti-steering policy for third-party app developers.
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels CC

The U.S. Supreme Court denied a request by Epic Games that would have required Apple to immediately get rid of its “anti-steering” rule for third-party applications — a major change. Instead, the Mac-maker can wait until there’s a final decision by the high court.

This means Apple doesn’t have to change its policy that prevents developers from sending customers from their applications to their websites to pay for subscriptions or services … yet.

Game on! Fortnite is apparently returning to iPhone.

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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!

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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.

Roblox sides with Apple in App Store battle against Epic Games

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Roblox
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

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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

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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.

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

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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

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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.

‘Duplicitous conduct’ earns Fortnite extended App Store ban

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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

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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

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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]

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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.

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

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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

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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).

Read Epic Games’ reasonable idea for opening up the App Store

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App Store
The CEO of Epic Games had an idea for making the App Store more open. It’s likely to find some support.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Epic Games suggested a change to the iPhone App Store that, if Apple had followed it, might have prevented the lawsuit that landed the two tech giants in court this week.

The game developer recommended that Apple continue to police third-party software, looking for malware, privacy violations, etc. But once the iPhone-maker signed off on an app, it would be up to the developer how the software got distributed.

Apple says Epic’s legal challenge is all about reviving interest in Fortnite

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

Epic Games’ lawsuit against Apple is less about App Store rules and more about reviving “flagging interest in Fortnite,” according to a court document filed Thursday by Cupertino’s lawyers.

In a court filing with the US District Court on Thursday, Apple argues that Epic just wants “to free-ride on Apple’s innovation” by being allowed in the App Store without having to pay Apple a cut of earnings.

Fortnite maker complains about Apple to UK regulator

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

The battle between Apple and Fortnite maker Epic Games rages on as the latter has filed a complaint with the UK’s competition regulator, complaining about Apple’s alleged anticompetitive behavior.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority earlier this month revealed that it had opened an investigation of Apple. This followed complaints from app developers that its conditions are not fair. Now Epic is chiming in to add its support to the complaint.

Tim Cook faces 7-hour grilling in Apple vs. Epic legal battle

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Tim Cook goes to Washington
Tim Cook will chime in on Apple vs. Epic Games case.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook must participate in a seven-hour deposition during his company’s upcoming legal battle with Epic Games. Epic reportedly wanted Cook for eight hours, while Apple lawyers tried to whittle it down to four hours.

Seven hours is the compromise that was ultimately ruled on by Judge Thomas S. Hixon.

Epic and Samsung join forces to taunt Apple

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Epic Games mocked Apple with a ‘1984’ parody.
Epic continues to take shots at Apple. Now it's got a partner.
Screenshot: Epic Games

Fortnite maker Epic Games continues to take shots at Apple — teaming with Samsung to send a gift bag to online influencers containing a “Free Fortnite” custom jacket with Apple-inspired logo, some suspiciously Apple-looking packaging, and a Galaxy Tab S7.

The note inside reads:

Facebook supports Fortnite maker in battle against Apple’s ‘unfair policies’

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Epic Games mocked Apple with a ‘1984’ parody.
Epic and Facebook have an.enemy they can both agree to dislike.
Screenshot: Epic Games

Facebook is supporting Fortnite maker Epic Games in its lawsuit against Apple, marking another low in the relationship between the two tech giants.

According to Steve Satterfield, a director of privacy and public policy at Facebook, the social network company thinks that it is, “really important that the court understand far reaching impact of Apple’s unfair policies.”

Judge dismisses Apple’s theft claims against Epic Games

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Apple's theft claim against Epic Games dismissed
Fortnite is still blocked from the App Store for now.
Photo: Epic Games

Apple’s two theft claims against Epic Games were on Tuesday dismissed by a federal judge in California.

Epic filed the counterclaims filed in September, just weeks after the game-maker sued Apple for alleged anti-competitive actions. Cupertino removed Fortnite, the hugely popular battle royale game, from the App Store after Epic gave players on iOS devices the ability to purchase in-game currency outside of Apple’s ecosystem.

Nvidia cloud gaming could bring Fortnite back to iPhone

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Epic Games v. Apple gets serious next spring.
Fortnite is back, iPhone users. Well, maybe.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

The latest version of Fortnite could come back to iPhone. But it won‘t be in the App Store. Instead, a version of the Nvidia GeForce Now cloud gaming service is reportedly headed for Apple handsets and tablets, and that’ll bring a huge library of games… including Fortnite.

Apple battle with Epic Games goes to court next May

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Epic Games v. Apple gets serious next spring.
A fight between Epic Games and Apple gets real next May.
Graphic: Cult of Mac

A court case to decide the fate of Fortnite on Apple devices will kick off May 3, 2021. But the arguments Epic Games and Apple will take before a judge are about more than a single game, albeit a very popular one. The court’s decision might have far-reaching implications for the iPhone App Store and Apple’s business.