Apple ‘wins’ Fortnite lawsuit against Epic, but must reform in-app purchases policy

Apple 'wins' Fortnite lawsuit against Epic, but must reform their in-app purchases policyEpic Games / Apple

Apple might have won their Fortnite lawsuit against Epic Games on paper, but it came at a big cost. The publisher must reform its in-app purchase policy, giving developers more power on the platform.

Epic Games and Apple have been locking horns in the courtroom for over a year

The creators of Fortnite challenged the tech giant’s restrictions on apps having payment options beyond those offered on the App Store. They hoped to avoid the 30% revenue cut that Apple takes on each purchase made in the App Store.

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The bitter feud could be coming to an end though. While Apple might have ‘won’ the case, Epic’s lawsuit will lead to big reforms in the industry.

Fortnite mobile on a smart phone.Epic Games
Mobile Fortnite players with iPhones might be able to jump back into the game soon.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found Epic in breach of their contract with Apple after they implemented their own in-app purchases system, forcing the developer to pay back 30% of their revenue. 

However, Rogers also issued a permanent injunction that imposes new restrictions on Apple’s App Store rules. Essentially, all apps must allow developers to direct users to alternative payment options. 

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The injunction will be in effect on December 9 unless challenged and overruled in a higher court.

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It’s the most significant ruling from the lawsuit and is considered to be a huge win for developers moving forward.

However, as mentioned above, the court also ruled that Epic Games breached their contract with Apple when they implemented their own payment system in the Fortnite app.

They’ll need to pay Apple around $3.5 million in losses.

Fortnite won't be returning to iOS and Apple devices in time for Season 4.Epic Games
The two companies have been disputing since August 2020.

The fight isn’t over yet though. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney claimed the ruling “isn’t a win for developers or for consumers” and vowed to “keep fighting.” 

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He said Fortnite will only return to the iOS App Store “when Epic can offer in-app payment in fair competition with Apple,” which he believes isn’t the case.

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