Apple has banned Fortnite from the App Store for violating store policies, and Epic is rallying players against the iPhone maker in part by telling them they could miss the game’s upcoming season if Apple doesn’t change its rules.
“Because Apple has BLOCKED your ability to update, when Fortnite Chapter 2 – Season 4 releases you will NOT be able to play the new Season on iOS,” Epic said in a blog post titled “#FreeFortnite.”
Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 4 is scheduled to begin on August 27th. If nothing changes between Apple and Epic by then, that means the game’s many iOS players will lose out on the chance to play Fortnite’s next major update in just a couple weeks. New seasons typically introduce a significant amount of content, such as unique skins, notable changes to the game’s ever-evolving map, and gameplay features like drivable cars.
If you downloaded the latest version of Fortnite from the App Store before Apple pulled it, you shouldn’t have problems playing the game right now, Epic says. And if Fortnite is still off the App Store when the new season starts, you should still be able to play the current Fortnite version, 13.40, on iOS, but you won’t be able to access any of the new season’s content, according to Epic.
Apple blocked Fortnite from the App Store because Epic introduced a way to buy V-bucks, Fortnite’s in-game currency, directly from Epic. The new direct payment mechanism came as part of a price drop on V-Bucks across all platforms. However, if you chose to buy V-Bucks through Apple’s payment system instead, the price was higher, ostensibly to cover Apple’s 30 percent cut it takes from digital purchases made on the App Store.
Epic is encouraging players to tweet at Apple to demand updates and a choice in payment platforms. “Apple is blocking your ability to get the latest Fortnite updates!” Epic said in the #FreeFortnite blog. “All players should have a choice in payment providers and save up to 20 percent. Apple wants to limit your payment choices! Join the fight against @AppStore on social with #FreeFortnite.”
Soon after Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store, Epic aired a short mocking Apple’s “1984” ad that put a Fortnite-style twist on iconic imagery from the famous commercial. As part of a message at the end of the short, Epic called on players to “join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming ‘1984.’” Epic also sued Apple following its decision to yank Fortnite.
Epic instituted the new direct payments system in the Android version of Fortnite as well, and Google removed the app from the Google Play Store Thursday evening, also for violating store policies. Android players still have ways to play Fortnite, however — they can download the game directly from Epic or from the Samsung Galaxy Store on Samsung devices. And by installing the game through a non-Play Store method, Android players should still be able to access content from Fortnite’s upcoming season.
Update August 13th, 6:56PM ET: Added that Google has removed Fortnite from the Play Store.