Fortnite could be making a return to iPhones, iPads, and other Apple devices in 2020, just in time for Season 5. Epic has launched a new lawsuit against Apple in Australia in the hopes of getting the game put back on the Apple App Store before Christmas.
Epic and Apple’s feud over Fortnite and in-app purchases has now spilled across international borders. While initial lawsuits were lodged in the United States back in August 2020, Epic has now filed a new case in Australia.
It comes in a late bid to see Fortnite return to the Apple App Store in Season 5, which launches on December 4, as well as before the big Christmas boom.
Today we took legal action in the Federal Court of Australia to end Apple’s App Store monopoly and make digital platforms fairer. We’re extending the fight to Australia where the impact of Apple’s anti-competitive policies is among the highest in the world https://t.co/h6YLXOhrcH
— Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom) November 17, 2020
Epic filed the Australian lawsuit against Apple on November 18. The Fortnite developer alleges “Apple’s conduct in its App Store is a misuse of market power,” and by doing so, the App Store operator is breaching Australian Consumer Law.
“This is much bigger than Epic versus Apple – it goes to the heart of whether consumers and creators can do business together directly on mobile platforms or are forced to use monopoly channels against wishes and interests,” Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said in a press release.
The Australian Consumer Law states that corporations with substantial power in a market “must not engage in conduct…substantially lessening competition.” It also states that companies can’t engage in “exclusive dealing,” effectively stopping monopolies in the market.
Epic alleges the Apple App Store has imposed “an absolute monopoly on distribution,” crippling the market.
Apple is yet to respond to the Australian lawsuit.
What does this Epic v Apple lawsuit mean for Fortnite players?
The lawsuit lodged in the Federal Court of Australia could mean Fortnite players on iOS devices might be greeted with an early return to the game.
With less than two weeks out from Fortnite Season 5, it’s unlikely Epic and Apple will be able to resolve the dispute before the start of the season. However, a mid-season return before the end of 2020 or nearing the start of 2021 is still on the cards.
While the lawsuit was lodged in Australia, it’s likely the judgment will have an impact on the global market. No matter where you play Fortnite from, you could be able to jump back on your iPhone or iPad and start again very soon.