Apple officially terminated the Epic Games account in the App Store on Friday after fighting in-app payments in the Battle Royale game in the Fortnite dispute and the ongoing legal battle with the game studio, confirms The Verge. This means that the app will no longer be available at all on the iPhone or iPad, even if you have already downloaded it once. Other epic games like Infinity Blade will also no longer be re-downloadable.
Here is Apple's statement:
We are disappointed that we had to cancel the Epic Games account on the App Store. We have worked with the Epic Games team on their launches and releases for many years. The court recommended Epic to adhere to App Store guidelines as the case progresses. They followed these guidelines for the past ten years until they created this situation. Epic refused. Instead, they repeatedly send Fortnite updates that violate the App Store's guidelines. This isn't fair to all of the other developers on the App Store and puts customers in the middle of their struggle. We hope that we can work together again in the future, but unfortunately that is not possible today.
The decision to terminate Epic's account was slated for Friday, although there was a dispute over whether Apple would allow it until a judge on Monday approved Epic's motion for an injunction regarding the removal of Fortnite from the App Store declined. (The judge granted Epic's injunction on Unreal Engine and Apple tells The Verge that the other developer account has not been terminated.)
According to Apple, Epic will no longer be able to submit apps or updates through its Epic Games developer account, but users who previously downloaded Fortnite on iOS and Mac can still play it.
Epic did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Apple advertised Fortnite competitor PUBG Mobile on the App Store today, though Epic CEO Tim Sweeney did the same on Twitter.
To date, Fortnite and other epic games, including the Infinity Blade Apps Trilogy, could still be downloaded on iOS if you or someone else on a Family Sharing account had them installed before. Although Epic removed Infinity Blade and its sequels from the App Store and Apple forcibly removed Fortnite, the games remained in the Purchased tab of an iCloud account, where they could be reinstalled.
Screenshot by Chris Welch / The Verge
That is no longer the case. Selecting Fortnite from your Purchased tab will return a "This item is no longer available" message. The same goes for other Epic apps, with the exception of Houseparty, the video chat app acquired last year, and the social network, which are still operated as a separate entity with a separate Apple developer account. Apple's action means that Fortnite players will no longer be able to make in-app purchases through the Apple payment system, according to Apple.