Apple is blocking Fortnite updates and new installs on the App
Store, and has said they will terminate our ability to develop
Fortnite for Apple devices. As a result, Fortnite’s newly released
Chapter 2 - Season 4 update (v14.00), will not release on iOS and
macOS on August 27.
Presumably because of Apple’s threat to revoke Epic’s Apple developer program membership, they’re not even updating the Mac version of Fortnite, which is a direct download from Epic’s website, and thus has always used Epic’s own payment system.
Apple is asking that Epic revert Fortnite to exclusively use Apple
payments. Their proposal is an invitation for Epic to collude with
Apple to maintain their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS,
suppressing free market competition and inflating prices. As a
matter of principle, we won’t participate in this scheme.
Epic is putting the ball in Apple’s court. iOS users definitely aren’t getting the new season of Fortnite unless Epic pulls their custom payments, which they’re saying they won’t do on principle. So what happens to the current version of Fortnite that’s already installed on iOS devices and is about to be out-of-date? Does it keep working, despite being out of date (and despite containing Epic’s rule-violating custom payment processing)? Or does Apple revoking Epic’s developer license invoke the kill switch that disables installed copies of Fortnite? What about the ability to re-download the current version if you (or a family-sharing member) previously downloaded it?
Update: A bunch of folks more familiar than me with how multiplayer matchmaking games work suggest that once the new Fortnite season starts (and players on non-Apple platforms have an update to install), clients on the previous season (including all iOS and Mac clients) will stop being able to play. That makes sense when you think about it technically. The apps will launch, but they’ll just tell players they need to update. And presumably, Epic will serve iOS and Mac clients a custom message explaining their “#FreeFortnite” campaign against Apple.
★ Wednesday, 26 August 2020