Even after today’s ruling, don’t expect ‘Fortnite’ to return to the App Store anytime soon

For starters, Epic Games plans to appeal the decision.

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Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan - July 6 2019: Fortnite app in play smartphone. close-up on screen iphone.
Savusia Konstantin via Getty Images

After months of testimony and deliberation, we got an initial decision earlier today in the legal battle between Apple and Epic. As a Fortnite player, you may wonder what it all means in terms of playing the game on an iOS device. The short answer is not much.

The long answer is neither side came away from the contest with a decisive win. Judge Gonzales Rogers may have ruled in Epic’s favor when on the issue of allowing App Store developers to direct users to alternate payment systems, but on every other count, she sided with Apple. That includes the question of whether the company was right to terminate Epic’s App Store developer account when it added a direct payment option in Fortnite last year.

On that matter, Judge Gonzales Rodgers said Apple’s decision was “valid, lawful and enforceable.” It’s therefore up to the company whether or not to allow the game back on the App Store. Based on the fact the tech giant rejected Epic’s request to reinstate its developer license after South Korea passed a law that will require both Apple and Google to allow alternative payment systems on their app stores, and the fact Epic says it will appeal the ruling, it’s unlikely the game will return to iOS anytime soon.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney made that much clear following the decision. “Fortnite will return to the iOS App Store when and where Epic can offer in-app payment in fair competition with Apple in-app payment, passing along the savings to consumers,” he said on Twitter.

It’s hard to put a timeline on when we might see a new development in the situation. Court cases involving tech companies can take months and sometimes years to resolve. In the meantime, Fortnite is still available on other platforms, including PC, PlayStation and Xbox.

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