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Fortnite is probably not going to return to iPhone or other iOS devices any time soon. Apple made it clear in a statement it sent to Epic that it does not want to work with Tim Sweeney’s company until their legal business comes to a conclusion. This comes after Sweeney asked Apple to reinstate Epic’s developer account in a letter he sent to iOS boss Phil Schiller on September 16.
In its response, Apple essentially said that it does not trust Epic. And Tim Cook’s company doesn’t want to expose itself to business relations with Epic until both sides have fully exhausted their legal options.
“Epic committed an intentional breach of contract, and breach of trust, by concealing code from Apple and making related misrepresentations and omissions,” reads a statement from Apple’s legal counsel. “In light of this and other statements since the court’s decision, coupled with Epic’s duplicitous conduct in the past, Apple has exercised its discretion not to reinstate Epic’s developer program account at this time. Furthermore, Apple will not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgment becomes final and nonappealable.”
That process, according to Sweeney, could take as long as five years. Sweeney calls this a “blacklisting,” but that is not how the court viewed it. In her decision, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers declared that Apple was in the right when it removed Fortnite from the App Store and revoked Epic’s developer account.
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Sweeney’s main point of contention is that Apple said that it would welcome Epic back if it would promise to play by the App Store rules. But Apple is going back on that verbal contract because, as it states above, Epic was duplicitous in their previous dealings involving a written contract.
Still, Sweeney made his frustrations with Apple known on his Twitter account.
“This is another extraordinary anticompetitive move by Apple, demonstrating their power to reshape markets and choose winners and losers,” writes Sweeney. “It’s also a loss for fair competition and consumer choice. The loss of Fortnite as an iOS metaverse competitor alongside Roblox and PUBG Mobile has significant implications for the evolution of the new medium of our era.”
Of course, the good news for Sweeney is that in five years, no one will even remember that “metaverse” was ever a buzzword, and we will have all moved on to whatever is next.
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