When Will Fortnite Come Back to iOS and Mac?
One of the most important and biggest conversations in the video game industry is the battle between Epic Games and Apple. Both companies are massive in their respective gaming and tech industries, and their way has made players wonder: Will Fortnite return to Apple?
Epic Games and Apple Legal Battle Recap
Before we dive into that question’s answer, it is important to understand everything that has led up until this point in time. At the time of writing this blog post, the battle between Apple and Epic Games is far from over. It looks like it is just getting started.
But to recap everything that has happened thus far, it all began in August 2020 with the move from Epic Games that sparked this whole movement. During the summertime, Epic decided to change how its microtransactions work and benefit consumers in the process.
Before that time, V-Bucks, the normal digital currency for Fortnite, cost a pretty standard amount of real-world money. In the U.S., it would cost you about $10 for 1000 V-Bucks. If you wanted to pick up a paid battle pass, it would cost you around $8.50, but because of how V-Bucks work, you’d have to buy 1000.
However, Epic did something pretty surprising and reduced the price of V-Bucks in many countries around the world permanently on all platforms. Everything reduced by 20%. That was a permanent change that still exists today for the game.
So, instead of spending $10 to buy 1000 V-Bucks, you’re looking at only $8, which not only saves you some money but makes the amount you have to pay to top up for that season’s battle pass easier to swallow. This was a great move and one that was available on every single platform.
This even includes Android and iOS, but their situations were much more complicated than the consoles and PC. You could get the discounted price, but only if you paid Epic Games directly on Fortnite. If you went through the Google Play Store or App Store, you would have to pay the old price.
Likely because Apple and Google took 30% of all sales through their stores as their cut. Epic Games tried to circumvent that substantial cut of the profits and pass along the savings to the consumer simultaneously, which was great in theory.
However, the problem with this was that Epic Games supposedly did this without approval from either Google or Apple. Because of this, it didn’t take long for both companies to remove Fortnite from their respective stores.
And then it didn’t take long for Epic to turn around and immediately sue Apple. Thus began the legal battle that is currently raging. So far, there has only been one public hearing about the trial. It didn’t result in anything as of the time of writing this.
But the public hearing in California did not look too well for Epic Games, who the judges appeared to be unhappy with. They did not like how dishonest Epic Games looks and how the publisher handled the whole situation. It is likely because it implemented something into Fortnite without permission that supposedly broke the terms of service with Apple.
Will Fortnite Return to Apple?
Now that you’re caught up on everything that we know about what is going on with the whole legal battle, it raises the most important question of when will Fortnite return to Apple? Though the lawsuit is focused on mobile platforms, it has affected much more than just iPhones and iPads.
Because Apple is in charge of the Mac platform, it has also affected users on that platform. Epic Games is no longer able to publish, develop, and update games on Apple products, which means no new games, updates, fixes, or anything else on iOS and Mac.
This has resulted in Mac removing Fortnite and players having to deal with that there even though it isn’t directly involved in this war. With so much happening right now, it isn’t easy to figure out the answer to will Fortnite return to Apple products.
But we will try and break down what we know about this situation and how it could go down. To first go over this, I would like to address whether or not the battle royale game will ever return to Apple products in the future.
I can almost say with 100% confidence that I do think that Fortnite will come back to Apple products someday down the road. The question, to me, isn’t really if it will happen, but when that will be. I don’t doubt that Fortnite will be available on iOS and Mac once again someday.
The reason for this is that the lawsuit can’t go on forever. There will be a decision someday. Whichever losing company it is will have to deal with the consequences because of that. Apple will either have to cave to Epic’s demands or vice versa, and that is likely to be the case.
There are so many players on iOS for Fortnite (but probably not the same for Mac) that both companies benefit from it being available on that platform. Apple probably makes a good chunk of change every year just from allowing Fortnite on iPhone and iPad. Then, Epic benefits from the number of mobile users who prefer Apple products over Android.
This symbiotic relationship is probably very important to both companies, and business is ultimately about making money. It would be quite foolish to let personal feelings get in the way. I think that, in the end, there will be some decisions that will bring the two back together. But when will that be?
How a Jury Trial Could Turn Out
As for when will Fortnite return to Apple, that is the more challenging question that I would like to attempt to answer. But before I can get to that, it is necessary to go over the possibility of a jury trial. This is where a panel of jurors will be able to decide which one wins between the two.
This would potentially be more favorable for Epic Games since it does seem to have public opinion on its side thus far. The whole marketing campaign of fighting back against what Apple has become has helped turn many players to Epic’s side, plus those who have disliked Apple for a while.
So, if a jury had the chance to decide the winner between the two, they could go for Epic. But if they are truly impartial like the judges potentially were in the recent hearing, the jury could also find issues because Epic made its decision without permission.
Our Predictions for When Fortnite Returns
Fortnite returning to Apple has to do with what happens with the lawsuit from here. If it is a standard jury trial, this could go on for a very long time. The legal system is certainly not the fastest thing globally, and things like this take some time.
The hearings will probably continue, which could take a couple of months on its own, and then they could set up the actual jury trial to determine the outcome. That would potentially be months after that. The trial itself could go on for a long time, too.
Then, there is the issue of whether one company appeals regarding the decision, if there is a counter lawsuit that requires another trial, and so on. There is so much that goes into this. It could be years from now when Fortnite finally returns to Apple.
We could already see the Unreal Engine 5 remake of the game that Epic Games promised in the past and more before the game is once again on Mac and iOS. But at the same time, I also think that we could see it return as early as next year in 2021.
There are two ways that this could happen. That would be if the trial goes cleanly (which I doubt), and a decision is made quickly. Or, Epic Games and Apple can come to an agreement privately that would allow Fortnite to return, which is also possible.
Fortnite Battle Royale Could Stop Working on iOS and Mac
You need to keep in mind then, especially with the fact that there are going to be potentially years until the return of Fortnite on Apple products. Something that we didn’t even think of until recently was the possibility that the game could break down in the future.
This came up because the Mac version of the game recently lost the ability to play the Save the World PvE portion. Players on that platform can still play battle royale at this time, but you can’t play Save the World anymore.
Though iOS doesn’t have Save the World, this is an issue that could affect that platform someday. The issue came about because of the latest update for the game that caused many bugs for the older version of Save the World that was available on Mac.
It made the game pretty much unplayable, so Epic has now taken it down on that platform only. This is something that could happen to battle royale in the future, too. Users on Mac and iOS who have the game still installed on their devices (you can’t redownload it at this time) can only play season 3 of battle royale.
That is when the game got its last update before being removed from the store. Since we are in season 4 when writing this, a new update or season down the road could break the older versions of battle royale, too.
What to Do If You Are a Fortnite Player on iOS or Mac
Fortunately, there are some solutions that you can use to keep playing Fortnite in the meantime while we wait for a decision to be made in this lawsuit. If you are on iOS or Mac, you have several options right now of playing Fortnite in its most current form.
Even if the game never comes back to Apple products, there are still some solutions for you. You can always play the game on other platforms, but that does require you to own those consoles or devices. Fortunately, there are solutions for both iOS and Mac without a need for other hardware.
There are several streaming applications that you can use on both of them to play Fortnite, but this will be the PC version of the games. There is Rainway that allows you to stream PC games to your mobile or Mac device that is completely free to use so long as you own the game already.
Fortunately, Fortnite is a free game to play, so this is no problem here. But there is also Shadow, which I always recommend since I love the app, but it is costly. That is because it gives you full control of an actual Windows PC where you can play Fortnite and other games like you would on a normal computer.