Fortnite could come back to iPhone thanks to new EU law

You know this is how Epic saw itself during the Apple lawsuit (pic: Epic Games)

If passed, a new law could force Apple to allow third party apps and stores on its phones, which could be Fortnite’s ticket back to mobile.

Despite all the grandstanding, the big legal battle between Epic Games and Apple over Fortnite’s removal from the latter’s storefront ended in a whimper, with Epic Games failing to get its battle royale game reinstated.

In the wake of the ruling, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney swore they wouldn’t back down and would keep fighting, but they may not need to anymore. That is, assuming a new EU law goes through.

Called the Digital Markets Act (DMA), it’s essentially a new piece of antitrust legislation to help rein in large corporations and keep competition balanced. One of its stipulations would force Apple to allow users to access third party stores and install third party apps outside of the Apple store.

In an emailed statement shared by The Verge, EU spokesperson Johannes Bahrke says, ‘We believe that the owner of a smartphone should have the freedom to choose how to use it. This freedom includes being able to opt for alternative sources of apps on your smartphone.

‘With the DMA, a smartphone owner would still be able to enjoy safe and secure services of the default app store on their smartphones. On top of that, if a user so chooses, the DMA would allow a smartphone owner to also opt for other safe app stores.’

So, how does this affect Fortnite? Well, it wouldn’t render the results of the Epic vs. Apple null and void or mean Apple would have to let it back on its storefront.

However, it would mean Fortnite fans could download the game back onto their phones through a third party source, such as Epic’s own launcher, the Epic Games Store.

At the moment, the only other way to enjoy Fortnite on an iOS device is through the Nvidia GeForce Now service, but it’s a streamed version of the game and is currently still in beta.

The DMA hasn’t passed yet, but it’s expected to be approved with little trouble, meaning it could be implemented as early as October. Apple unsurprisingly isn’t thrilled with it, although it says that it’s concerned for its users’ security.

A spokesperson told The Verge that the company is worried that ‘some provisions of the DMA will create unnecessary privacy and security vulnerabilities for our users while others will prohibit us from charging for intellectual property in which we invest a great deal.’

Of course, it’s also unclear whether this would change anything in the UK, since the new EU law won’t apply here. However, since it will affect all companies that offer their services to the EU it may end up informing UK law anyway – although that may mean it’ll be even longer till you can play Fortnite on your iPhone.

Fortnite is available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and PC.

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