In the email, Epic Games blames Apple’s App Store charges for the unavailability of new content, although Apple said if the direct payment option is removed and Fortnite follows the policies of App Store, it can be updated and remain in the App Store while a legal battle between the two companies unfolds in court. From Epic Games email:
Apple is blocking updates and new installations of Fortnite from the “App Store” and has said it will end our ability to develop Fortnite for Apple devices. As a result, the Chapter 2 – Season 4 (v14.00) update was not released on iOS and macOS on August 27. […]
Apple limits the competition so that they can collect 30% of consumer payments made in apps like Fortnite, thus increasing the prices you pay. Epic has cut prices with a direct payment option, but Apple is blocking Fortnite in an effort to prevent Epic from passing direct payment savings to players. Epic has taken legal action to end Apple’s anti-competitive restrictions in mobile device markets. Items are available for our August 13, August 17, and August 23 deposits. In retaliation for this action, Apple has blocked your access to updates and new Fortnite installations on all iOS devices.
Epic Games is advising customers that they can still play existing Season 3 content, but progression is not possible and iOS and Mac players cannot play cross-platform with those on other devices. Players using Apple products cannot access the new cosmetic options, nor can they receive New Season gifts unless they log into an alternate platform that has access to Season 4 content. Battle Lab, Duos, and LTM are disabled on iOS, and iOS players cannot complete the new Quick Challenges and Style Challenges.
Instead of iOS devices, Epic Games recommends that customers play Fortnite on Android, PC, PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch, and direct customers to Apple to request refunds for in-app purchases.
Epic Games tried to get a temporary restraining order that would require Apple to allow Fortnite updates to continue to be available on iOS devices and prevent Apple from terminating the Epic Games developer account, but the judge sided with Apple and did not grant any restrictions. order for Fortnite.
The judge in charge of the case told lawyers for Epic Games that all Epic has to do “is bring it back to the status quo and no one is harmed,” but Epic has chosen not to and remains. shuts down as Apple prepares to terminate its developer account. Epic’s lawyers have indeed declared that Epic “cannot return to an anti-competitive contract”.
Apple said in mid-August that Epic would lose access to its developer account on August 28, which is tomorrow, so it looks like Fortnite won’t be available for the foreseeable future, as it looks like neither party does not plan to back down.
Apple was also going to stop Epic from working on the Unreal Engine used by third-party developers, but Epic managed to secure a restraining order to prevent that from happening. So while Apple is permitted to block Fortnite as long as Epic continues to violate App Store rules, it is not permitted to terminate the Epic International developer account and the tools used for Unreal Engine.
The next hearing in the Apple vs. Epic battle will take place on September 28, with Epic seeking a preliminary injunction that will allow Fortnite to return to the “App Store”.