Fortnite Set for a Comeback on iOS in Europe with Epic Games Store Amidst Apple's Regulatory Changes
After a four-year absence from the iOS ecosystem, Fortnite is primed for a return, albeit initially limited to European players.
The longstanding feud between Epic Games and Apple has taken another unexpected twist as of Thursday. With Europe's Digital Markets Act (DMA), drafted to ensure fair competition among tech giants, Apple has been compelled to alter its iOS policies. The DMA enforcement will lead to Apple accommodating "sideloading," which allows users to install apps from sources other than the App Store's exclusive domain.
Until now, Apple has strongly opposed sideloading, citing potential compromises to the platform's security and privacy integrity. Conversely, sideloading is a routine feature on Google's Android platform via Google Play.
Epic Games is seizing this opportunity to reintegrate Fortnite on iOS space within this year. The return of Fortnite aligns with Epic's announcement to launch an iOS version of the Epic Games Store in Europe.
The transformation of the App Store's operations in Europe marks a significant deviation from Apple's traditional model. However, the specifics of Apple's DMA compliance have been met with criticism from Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, who expressed dissatisfaction, describing Apple's strategies as lacking and fraught with unreasonable fees.
Despite ongoing disputes with Apple, Epic Games is moving forward with its plans to reintroduce its services on iOS. Epic Games, known for Fortnite and the creation of the powerful Unreal Engine, also operates the Epic Game Store, a digital marketplace for PC games that extends to Mac users. Epic's revenue model in the Epic Game Store gives developers a more favorable cut at 88%, with Epic taking only a 12% share, making it a less stringent platform compared to Apple's in terms of revenue and in-app purchases.
Epic Games is keen on expanding its market presence, not just as a software developer but also as a digital marketplace. This ambition is becoming more apparent with Fortnite, which has transitioned from merely offering a series of shooter game modes to becoming a comprehensive platform akin to Roblox, complete with an array of user-generated content. Today, Fortnite features an extensive selection of player-created games and has introduced a new wave of Epic-developed games, embracing different gaming genres such as survival, racing, and rhythm, enriching the core battle royale experience.