Fortnite iOS Return could be in the cards for 2023
Epic Games’ Fortnite has been missing from iOS devices since 2020. A recent change to how Apple deals with its App Store could open the door for a Fortnite iOS return. New EU legislation could force a change in how Apple handles their devices ecosystem, which might mean Fortnite can come back.
Fortnite iOS return pending
The European Union will be addressing digital gatekeeping from Apple and Google in 2023. This is what’s opening things up for a potential Fortnite iOS return in 2023. It will force Apple to allow users grater freedoms on their devices, being able to use third part marketplaces on devices, and allow players to install different apps.
Apple typically has strict controls over what players can install. This is what lets them enforce policies like taking a cut of purchases, since developers and publishers don’t have another option if they want access to the sizeable install base for Fortnite on iOS.
The Digital Markets Act will apply to EU countries. This will mean that Epic could publish Fortnite on iOS without engaging with the official app store, giving them a way to get on the devices without giving Apple their cut. It won’t exactly end the ongoing dispute between Epic and Apple, but it could allow a Fortnite iOS return though.
Apple and Epic Games originally clashed over a specific rule from Apple taking a big cut of in-app purchases on their device. This is why some services like Twitter have to charge more for purchases on iOS. Players on Android got around this restriction by using a third-party installation of Fortnite, something specifically banned by Apple. This lead to Fortnite being taken down, and a lengthy legal battle ensued.
Is Fortnite Mobile Coming Back?
Apple might be facing a change of rules, but it isn’t a guarantee that Fortnite is coming back. Apple has previously been forced to change similar predatory practises. Recently, the EU has forced them to use generic USB connections on phones rather than their proprietary cables.
There’s also the possibility that Apple stubbornly clings to its control outside of Europe. It doesn’t look like they’ll be standardizing the iPhone with a USB C cable outside of Europe. It’s also possible they only allow third party apps and marketplaces in Europe and Fortnite. So Fortnite would only be playable in Europe from 2023.
A Fortnite iOS return would be a nice bonus for mobile players. It would be great to get one of the most popular Battle Royales back on all mobile devices to join Apex Mobile and others. We’re still a while off though.