Epic Seeks ‘Fortnite’ Return On Apple’s App Store

This illustration picture shows Epic Games’ Fortnite loading on a smartphone in Los Angeles on August 14, 2020. (Photo by Chris DELMAS / AFP)

Major US game maker Epic Games has asked Apple to restore its flagship game “Fortnite” on the South Korean app store after Seoul passed a law curbing the monopolistic power of platform operators, it said Friday.

Apple and Epic are at the forefront of a global contest between delivery platforms and content creators on how revenues should be divided, with billions of dollars at stake.

Apple removed the hugely popular Fortnite from its App Store last year after Epic introduced direct payment in the app, bypassing Apple’s own system.

Epic sued Apple over the removal and the case is before the courts in the United States.

In a world first, South Korea passed a law last month banning Apple and Google from forcing app developers to use the tech giants’ payment systems, effectively declaring their lucrative App Store and Play Store monopolies illegal.

The measure comes as Apple and Google face global criticism for charging up to 30 percent commission on app sales and requiring their own payment systems be used that collect a share of the transactions.

The law is expected to take into effect in the coming days and will make the South the first country to mandate such alternative payment options, allowing users to bypass charges set by store owners.

“Epic intends to re-release Fortnite on iOS in Korea offering both Epic payment and Apple payment side-by-side in compliance with the new Korean law,” the game company said on its verified Fortnite twitter account Friday.

Apple Korea declined to comment to AFP, referring the request to its US headquarters.

The gamemaker’s move came after its CEO Tim Sweeney enthusiastically welcomed the law’s passage, calling it a “major milestone in the 45-year history of personal computing” on his own Twitter account and adding: “I am a Korean.”

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