Wednesday, August 26, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Epic Will Stop Updating Fortnite for iOS and Mac

Epic (via MacRumors):

Apple is blocking Fortnite updates and new installs on the App Store, and has said they will terminate our ability to develop Fortnite for Apple devices. As a result, Fortnite’s newly released Chapter 2 - Season 4 update (v14.00), will not release on iOS and macOS on August 27.

Juli Clover:

Epic Games confirmed to The Verge that cross-platform play will not be possible, and iPhone, iPad, and Mac Fortnite players will only be able to play with one another. That means Fortnite users who have friends on other platforms will not be able to play with those friends.

John Gruber:

So what happens to the current version of Fortnite that’s already installed on iOS devices and is about to be out-of-date? Does it keep working, despite being out of date (and despite containing Epic’s rule-violating custom payment processing)? Or does Apple revoking Epic’s developer license invoke the kill switch that disables installed copies of Fortnite? What about the ability to re-download the current version if you (or a family-sharing member) previously downloaded it?

Surely, Apple will leave the installed apps in place and let customers blame Epic for missing the latest season and for any incompatibilities with new OS versions. Disabling installed apps would make Apple the bad guy and make users worry about their other purchases disappearing.

Jason Snell:

The thing is, I don’t really back all the actions of either party in this kerfuffle. Instead, I’m squarely on the side of the people who use technology. Let’s leave aside the tech giants. What are the outcomes that would most benefit regular users?

[…]

I’d like Apple to loosen up on its App Store restrictions, without sacrificing security and safety. I’d like Apple to let reputable companies process payments for digital goods directly, but I don’t want to pause every time an app asks me for money in fear that it’s a scam.

Above all else, I think that Apple has brought this scrutiny upon itself by failing to adapt to the times.

Eric Stromberg:

Ah yes, the quaint early days of App Store fights.

iBeer v. Apple foretold Epic v. Apple.

Previously:

Update (2020-08-27): Rosyna Keller:

Why macOS?

Jeff Johnson:

According to the judge’s order, “Apple maintains separate developer agreements and developer program licensing agreements between Epic Games, Epic International and four other affiliated entities.” The competing interpretation is that the restraining order allows Apple to terminate the developer account of Epic Games, just not the developer accounts of the other 5 entities.

What’s the difference? In one word: Macintosh!

Even if the temporary restraining order does protect the Mac version, it expires in September.

11 Comments

Ah, yes, having Apple decide who is a “reputable” company and who is not will definitely stop the complaining.

@David I really don’t understand this fear of other companies processing payments. I’ve given my credit card information to hundreds of Web sites and almost never had a problem. And when there is fraud, the credit card company has my back. It’s also easier to review the charges because I can see who it’s from, rather than having a single bundled charge that only says “Apple.”

Most apps would simply use some sort of integration with Stripe or PayPal, etc, and it'd probably be almost as seamless as it is now (because the payment app would authorise with Touch ID or whatever your fancy non-iPhone SE phones use).

I wonder if the EU will do anything? Their deal with Microsoft was nonsense (the Windows 'N' editions that removed Windows Media Player) and really just about the fine I guess.

@Adrian Yup, the vast majority of apps would use one of a handful of providers that already have your information.

Old Unix Geek

My inner 10 year old is pretty certain that players will blame Apple more than Epic: Apple is just the device, and the evil people preventing me from playing with my friends. Epic are the people who made the playground, and if I just had another device, I could play with my friends... I have a feeling the Nintendo Switch is going to benefit from this kerfuffle.

I don't really think it's correct to equate Apple and Epic as "both sides are bad" in the context of this lawsuit. They are both rich businesses, but Epic's case against Apple is a case against the monopoly power it wields over large companies, indie developers, and users alike. Even if Epic is only motivated by pure self-interest, their position and actions are aligned with the others. The weakening or breaking of Apple's power and the emergence of real alternatives to the App Store will absolutely benefit all developers and users of iOS.

It is so abundantly clear that Epic is penalizing the customers that prefer iOS and macOS here. They are being greedy and they have unclean hands.

Yeah, they're no angels. This whole thing would be solved if they just stopped resisting and quietly sat in the back of the bus.

Really. Fortnite is a highly addictive game, as many others are, for both kids and adults. What a shame humans spend their time on such stuff when there are are much more edifying things to do. The negative impact of games on global health (including lack of sleep and accidents of all kinds at work and on roads that kill) and productivity is shocking. Amazingly, nobody seems to care!

Right on, let's ban games, that's very smart and on-topic.

Fortnite is a highly addictive game, as many others are, for both kids and adults. What a shame humans spend their time on such stuff when there are are much more edifying things to do. The negative impact of games on global health (including lack of sleep and accidents of all kinds at work and on roads that kill) and productivity is shocking. Amazingly, nobody seems to care!

Aren’t features like Screen Time an indication that people do care?

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