Apple is banning Fortnite from its App Store until the end of its court battle with Epic Games, Inc., according to a Bloomberg report on Wednesday (Sept. 22).
In a letter from Apple’s legal representatives to Epic’s lawyers on Tuesday, the media giant said it “will not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court’s judgment becomes final and non-appealable.”
The appeals process could take five years, Epic Games Chief Executive Officer Tim Sweeney said on Twitter, where he posted the letter.
Epic sued Apple in August 2020 when the company took Fortnite off the App Store after Epic found a workaround that kept Apple from collecting commission on purchases. Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers came down on Apple’s side, although she said the tech giant should still allow app developers to direct users to outside payment methods if they have them available.
That ruling doesn’t take effect until December and Epic plans to appeal it before then.
Sweeney asked Phil Schiller, Apple’s executive in charge of the App Store, to reinstate Epic’s developer account Thursday (Sept. 16).
“Epic promises that it will adhere to Apple’s guidelines whenever and wherever we release products on Apple’s platforms,” Sweeney wrote in an email to Apple that he posted on Twitter on Wednesday. If Epic gets its developer account back, it will re-release Fortnite for Mac computers “as soon as possible,” Sweeney told Bloomberg, and add the iPhone and iPad version into its Unreal Engine.
Fortnite will only return to Apple products if the company uses the “plain language” in the judge’s ruling, he said.
Epic Games has paid already Apple $6 million for breaching the company’s App Store guidelines after a Sept. 10 court ruling against Epic, according to a recent report from Apple Insider. The money is considered damages from funds generated by Fortnite sales on the App Store after Epic violated Apple’s policies and offered it elsewhere.
Apple last week denied a request from Epic Games to reinstate Fortnite in the App Store ahead of South Korea’s law allowing app developers to offer their own payment methods. South Korea is the first country to legislate how payments can be processed in the App Store and Google Play Store.