With an initial rollout in Europe this year, Epic Games has announced plans to launch its much anticipated Epic Games Store on iPhone and iPad. The declaration comes in the wake of Apple’s recent decision to permit other programs in Apple App stores. In addition, Fortnite, a popular game that was taken off iOS for over three years because of a legal fight with Apple, will be made available again through the Epic Games Store. Furthermore, this remarkable advancement opens the door for the Epic Store to become globally accessible on iOS and iPadOS in the future.
With just the announcement that the store and Fortnite would be accessible “later this year” in the areas covered by the Digital Markets Act, Epic did not provide many details about their plans. Additionally, it said on X (previously Twitter) that it will keep pursuing Apple for breaking the law and fighting officials.
In the meanwhile, Epic’s launch may encounter some challenges because Apple will continue to have some influence over independent app stores. Users using iPhones and iPads will be able to play Fortnite without depending on a cloud gaming service thanks to the Epic Games Store.
This is unexpected in considering the fact that Epic Games closed its shop and the game was taken down in 2020 following a dispute with Apple on in-app purchases. When Epic included a third-party payment option to Fortnite in 2020, the game was removed from the iOS App Store. Due to this, Epic sued Apple, but last week it was mostly dismissed.
But it’s back, thanks to Apple’s announcement of how it will comply by the new EU regulations aimed at limiting the influence of Big Tech. Even though Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic, called Apple’s policy “hot garbage,” Epic decided to return to iOS.
Apple’s policy received attention from Sweeney, who calls it a “devious new instance of malicious compliance” that aims to undermine the Digital Markets Act.
For background, customers of programs that are not downloaded from the App Store or that use Apple’s payment system even though they are from the App Store are required by Apple regulation to pay 0.50 euros annually. On the other hand, using the App Store and making in-app purchases are free of charge. Although Apple will forego the first million installments, companies such as Epic that build apps will still be affected. This cost is sweeneyed as “junk fees.”
However, Apple’s influence over independent app stores will remain, which could provide obstacles for Epic Games’ re-entry into the App Store.
However, Apple’s action will allow iPhone users in Europe to download apps from several stores, expanding the alternatives for finding and utilizing apps on their devices. This is like to opening several doors to discover useful and broadened information.
Apple will now have to provide European customers more options and put in place steps against any hazards associated with new apps, as required by the DMA. Apple is also providing developers with new tools to distribute their apps through other marketplaces and payment processors, using security features like Notarization to confirm the genuineness of apps before installation.
But there are risks associated with these developments as well, such the potential for malicious or fraudulent apps. Apple is using safety procedures like the Notarization process, which checks apps for safety, to solve this. Additionally, Apple is enhancing the app information so that consumers may choose wisely before downloading.
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