Epic’s Fortnite game launched on the App Store over a year ago.


Epic Games has asked Apple to bring its Fortnite online fighting game back to the App Store for iPhone and iPad in response to a South Korean law that suppresses the operation of mobile app stores. The new law, which was passed in August and is expected to come into force soon, requires app store operators like Apple and Google to ease restrictions they have instituted over the years. Apple said Epic must follow App Store rules for its account to be reinstated.

Apple and Google launched Epic in their respective app stores last August after quietly changing the code inside Fortnite in an attempt to break the two companies’ rules. Apple and Google require all app developers selling digital products, such as a movie subscription or new looks for a character in a video game, to do so through integrated payment systems built into the stores of Apple and Google applications. Apple and Google both take up to 30% off each sale through their payment services.

Epic intentionally broke this rule, offering players an alternative to paying through its own payment service, remove commissions from Apple and Google In the process. In response, Apple and Google both kicked Fortnite out of their stores.

“Epic has asked Apple to restore our Fortnite developer account,” Epic said in a statement on Twitter Thursday evening. “Epic intends to re-release Fortnite on iOS in Korea, offering both Epic payment and Apple payment side-by-side under new Korean law.”

Apple has said that Epic will still have to agree to its developer guidelines for its account to be reinstated. “As we have said from the start, we would welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agreed to play by the same rules as everyone else,” the company said in a statement. “Epic has admitted to breaking the contract and at this time there is no legitimate basis for reinstating its developer account.”

The move marks an escalation by Epic in its ongoing battles with Apple and Google. Epic sued the two companies shortly after Fortnite was kicked out of the two app stores, arguing they violated antitrust laws. Apple and epic was tried this spring for this matter in a California court, and are currently awaiting a verdict.