Epic asks Apple to reinstate Fortnite on iOS to abide by new Korean law
Following the passage of a new law in South Korea that forces Apple and Google to accept alternative payment options, Epic Games has asked Apple to allow Fortnite to be reinstated on the App Store in Korea. Should Apple allow Fortnite to be re-released on iOS in Korea, Epic Games intends to let users choose between paying through Epic or Apple.
Epic has asked Apple to restore our Fortnite developer account. 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.
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) September 9, 2021
The new South Korean law, nicknamed the “Google power-abuse-prevention law”, amends the country’s Telecommunications Business Act, the law that regulates all telecommunications business in Korea, to prohibit large app marker operators from requiring the use of their own in-app purchasing option. The law also prohibits these app market operators — such as Apple and Google — from delaying the approval of apps or unfairly banning them from their marketplace; these provisions are intended to prevent retaliation from the operator, and failure to comply with this new law can result in a fine of up to 3% of the company’s revenue in South Korea being levied.
In a statement to reporters, Apple has signaled its intent to deny Epic’s request. Apple’s denial was to be expected, given that the law is so new and thus the company needs time to evaluate what actions it must take to be in compliance.
Apple: “Epic has admitted to breach of contract and as of now, there’s no legitimate basis for the reinstatement of their developer account.” https://t.co/gZZIxcTsZL
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) September 10, 2021
Epic Games has thus far not asked the same of Google. Despite Google’s own attempts at maintaining a stranglehold over the Play Store, most of the problems Epic has highlighted have been with Apple. Fortnite was removed from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store in August 2020, which was the impetus Epic Games needed to sue both companies.
The original #FreeFortnite campaign was marked by the release of a commercial titled “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite” spoofing Apple’s iconic 1984 Super Bowl commercial. It was timed to play within Fortnite shortly after the game was taken down from the App Store. During the video, Epic Games said the following: “Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices. Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming “1984.” #FreeFortnite”