'Fortnite' players on iPhone and iPad have less than a week before the game leaves them behind (AAPL, GOOGL)
- Last week, the wildly popular game “Fortnite” got an update on Apple and Android smartphones that allowed players to bypass the companies’ digital payment systems. Instead of going through Apple and Google, payments went directly to the “Fortnite” studio, Epic Games.
- In response, Apple and Google pulled “Fortnite” from their digital storefronts and cited the update as a terms-of-service violation — which caused Epic to sue both companies.
- The game is outright unable to be updated through the Apple App Store. With the next “Fortnite” season just one week away, iPhone and iPad players are about to get left behind.
- “These are the final days of the entire ‘Fortnite’ community’s ability to play together,” Epic Games said in a blog post on Thursday. “Players on iOS devices will be left behind on Chapter 2 – Season 3 while everyone else jumps into the Chapter 2 – Season 4 launch on August 27.”
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When Apple yanked “Fortnite” from the App Store last week, the move had a ripple effect on the millions of people who already play the game on iPhones and iPad: When the next season launches on August 27, those players will be left in the past.
“These are the final days of the entire ‘Fortnite’ community’s ability to play together,” Epic Games said in a blog post on August 20. “Players on iOS devices will be left behind on Chapter 2 – Season 3 while everyone else jumps into the Chapter 2 – Season 4 launch on August 27.”
In short: When the next season goes live, iPhone and iPad players won’t be able to move forward or play the next season with their friends on other platforms.
They will, however, still be able to play with other iPhone and iPad players.
“Once Chapter 2 – Season 4 begins, players accessing ‘Fortnite’ will still be able to play the 13.40 version of ‘Fortnite,'” according to Epic, “but will not be able to access any new content or the new Battle Pass. Cosmetic purchases will still work across all platforms.”
There’s another option for people who want to play the next season: Since “Fortnite” enables players to carry over progress between platforms, you could login through another platform — Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, and even Android — and play the next season there. If and when Apple and Epic resolve the current squabble, your progress will presumably carry back to the iPhone and iPad versions of the game.
“Fortnite” was pulled from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store late last week following an update issued by Epic that gave users the option to bypass the companies’ digital payment systems (seen above).
Instead of buying in-game virtual money (“V-bucks”) through Apple or Google, players could buy it directly from Epic — at a 30% discount, no less. Apple and Google said the update was a terms-of-service violation for any developer with an app on the App Store or Google Play.
“Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services,” Apple said in a statement last week.
In response, the two main smartphone conglomerates pulled “Fortnite” from their respective digital storefronts. Epic Games, anticipating as much, filed suits against each company.
Despite being pulled from Google’s official Android storefront, “Fortnite” players on Android are able to bypass the Play Store and download the game directly from Epic.
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