The dispute between Epic and Apple, the developer of the hugely popular Fortnite game, has plunged into a situation where games running on the game's iOS and macOS platforms are split from the rest of Fortnite. In practice, this means that Apple devices won’t see the game bring new content to the fourth season of the second chapter, says The Verge.
In addition, Apple gamers will lose the opportunity to play with people playing on other operating systems. Fortnite is also available for play on Windows, Android, and Playstation 4 and Xbox One game consoles. So in the future, Apple players will play with each other without new content.
The dispute began in mid-August when Epic sued Apple, adding to Fortnite the opportunity to buy in-game currency past Apple’s App Store. Apple takes some of the revenue from purchases made in the App Store. In return, Apple removed Fortnite from its app store and threatened to close its Epic user account.
The latter jeopardizes the future of the Unreal game engine developed by Epic and used by many game developers.
Microsoft sided with Epic in the dispute. Epic, meanwhile, sued Apple. The judge hearing the case said the closure of the user account appeared to be revenge on Apple. The case will continue at the end of September.
Read more: Apple's Fortnite threat turns heads - judge suspects revenge
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In a statement, Epic has questioned Apple’s way of doing things, saying the phone owner should be able to install apps on their device from any source. On Android phones, this is possible, but Apple has blocked it on its own mobile devices.
It’s a big battle of principle that largely decides whether Apple has the exclusive right to distribute apps that can be installed on iPhones. As the app store is Apple’s most significant source of revenue, the litigation is likely to become long and bitter.