Epic Games Asks Apple to Restore Fortnite in South Korea Following Ban on In-App Purchase Requirement [Update]

Epic Games today said that it has asked Apple to reinstate its Fortnite developer account because it intends to release Fortnite in South Korea.

fortnite apple logo south korea feature 1
South Korea in late August passed a bill that bans Apple from requiring developers to use its in-app purchase system. The bill forces Apple (and Google) to let developers use third-party payment methods to make purchases.

‌Epic Games‌ now says that it intends to release Fornite in Korea and offer both Epic payment and Apple payment options side-by-side "in compliance with the new Korean law."


Fortnite has been unavailable on iOS devices since Apple pulled the app in August 2020. Apple removed the app from the App Store after ‌Epic Games‌ added a direct payment option that skirted Apple's in-app purchase requirements, and since then, the two have been embroiled in a bitter legal battle.

‌Epic Games‌ attempted to get a judge to require Apple to allow Fortnite on the ‌App Store‌ while the lawsuit played out, but the judge refused because the situation that caused Fortnite to be banned was of ‌Epic Games‌' own making.

When South Korea passed its updated Telecommunications Business Act banning Apple from requiring in-app purchases, Apple said that it would put users at risk of fraud and undermine privacy protections.

The Telecommunications Business Act will put users who purchase digital goods from other sources at risk of fraud, undermine their privacy protections, make it difficult to manage their purchases, and features like "Ask to Buy" and Parental Controls will become less effective. We believe user trust in App Store purchases will decrease as a result of this legislation -- leading to fewer opportunities for the over 482,000 registered developers in Korea who have earned more than KRW8.55 trillion to date with Apple.

Apple and ‌Epic Games‌ faced off in a trial that took place earlier this year, and we are still awaiting a final ruling from the judge overseeing the case. ‌Epic Games‌ argued that iOS should be opened up to competing app stores, but it is unlikely that Apple will be required to implement such a drastic change.

Update: In a statement to MacRumors, Apple said there is no basis for the reinstatement of the ‌Epic Games‌ developer account.

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. Epic has admitted to breach of contract and as of now, there’s no legitimate basis for the reinstatement of their developer account.

Apple says that to be added back to the ‌App Store‌, ‌Epic Games‌ would need to comply with all of Apple's ‌App Store‌ review guidelines, which the company has thus far declined to do.

Apple also points out that the legislation in South Korea is has not yet gone into effect and even if it had, Apple would have no obligation to reinstate a developer account that was terminated prior to when it became law.

Top Rated Comments

LFC2020 Avatar
16 months ago
Hope they’re never allowed on the App Store again.
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
B-Mc-C Avatar
16 months ago
They’re using Apple’s intellectual property (thousands of APIs) to build their app. These are not open source to my knowledge and are likely licensed to them under Apple’s terms. Apple spends a boatload of money developing all of these “building blocks.” If they decide they don’t want someone using their licensed tools/software, especially someone who is not paying for it, then so be it. Just my opinion.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
killramos Avatar
16 months ago

I never understood why Epic didn't do what Amazon did long ago.

Amazon didn't want to be charged 30% on every Kindle ebook they sold... so they just stopped it altogether. And people had to go to Amazon's website to buy Kindle ebooks.

Epic could have done something similar. Even though they couldn't (then) have a link to a website in the app... I'm pretty sure gamers would have figured it out.

You need an Epic Games account to play Fortnite anyway, right? So you already have a login and password to Epic's website and store.

That seems like a better option than suing the two major mobile platforms.
epics business model relies on people making stupid purchasing decisions for instant gratification in the moment

people having a sober second thought before buying is contrary to their goals
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ? Avatar
16 months ago
No way Apple is going to reinstate it.

Epic Games… why not build your own platform.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KanosWRX Avatar
16 months ago
I mean at this point its Apple's store they can allow whoever the hell they want, even if it means they have to open up the payment system. I say screw them, they caused this mess keep them out... If people don't like it they can buy Android phones I guess or some Chinese brand that will spy on them. I mean let the people decide I say.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Realityck Avatar
16 months ago
Drag your feet Apple, after all the shenanigans Epic tried.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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