Apple says it won’t let Epic Games back in the App Store until they agree to “play by the same rules as everyone else.” Earlier today Epic asked Apple to reinstate its developer account so that it could re-release the iOS version of Fortnite in South Korea, which recently passed a bill forcing Apple and Google to allow alternate in-app payment systems.
Apple, however, maintains it’s under no obligation to let Epic in the App Store at all. “As we’ve said all along, we would welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else,” an Apple spokesperson says in a statement to The Verge. “Epic has admitted to breach of contract and as of now, there’s no legitimate basis for the reinstatement of their developer account.”
The South Korean legislation has not yet gone into effect, but if and when it does, according to Apple, that wouldn’t have any bearing on the company’s process for approving developer accounts. Until Epic agrees to comply with the App Store’s app review guidelines, Apple isn’t going to consider its request.
Fortnite, one of the most popular video games in the world, has been unavailable on the App Store since August of last year. Apple ultimately terminated Epic’s developer account in response to a Fortnite update that dodged the App Store’s in-app payment requirement in order to get around paying Apple the 30-percent cut. Epic then sued Apple and went to trial in May, with a verdict yet to come.