Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Epic Games Submits Fortnite and Its Play Store to Apple for Approval

The special EU App Store rules were implemented earlier this year under the Digital Markets Act, which forced Apple to open up its iPhone software ecosystem to include alternatives to the App Store. It hasn’t been widely evaluated yet due to the high fees and compliance requirements imposed by Apple. However, Epic Games is set to take the expected step soon. The company has submitted both its Fortnite game and the Epic Games Store to Apple for approval.

Fortnite was kicked off the App Store in August 2020 after Epic Games secretly purchased V-Bucks without using Apple’s In-App Purchase system, in violation of App Store rules. Apple completely removed Fortnite from iOS and banned Epic Games from the App Store.

Using rules introduced under the Digital Markets Act, Epic is preparing to relaunch Fortnite and the Epic Games Store in the European Union within the next few months.

In theory, the Digital Markets Act requires big tech companies like Apple to open up their platforms and allow nearly unrestricted access to third-party software.

But under Apple’s current policy, the company must first get its app certified. That includes Apple’s human review process. AltStore, created by Riley Testut, creator of the game emulator Delta, criticized Apple for this lengthy and opaque process. The certification process can take months to complete.

Once approved, these apps must pay a Basic Technology Fee, an annual fee of 50 euro cents per install once app downloads exceed one million units. App stores like Epic Games and AltStore also pay this fee for every install.

Epic Games Will Pay Apple for Downloading Fortnite

This means that a European Union user downloading Fortnite from the upcoming Epic Games Store will be subject to Epic’s Basic Technology Fee twice, and will have to pay Apple one euro each year.

Companies including Epic and Spotify have criticized the fees and other rules in Apple’s alternative terms of business, arguing that Apple is still not complying with the DMA. The European Commission issued a preliminary ruling last week saying Apple’s anti-redirection policies were violated and is formally investigating the Basic Technology Fee and surrounding alternative app market rules.

Danish Kapoor