Epic Games has asked Apple to rejoin its Fortnite developer account in South Korea as the U.S. game maker plans to re-release Fortnite on iOS in South Korea, offering both Epic and Apple payments side-by-side, said in a tweet on September 10.
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
This request comes after South Korea passed a bill, the updated Telecommunications Business Act, in late August that will force Apple and other tech giants to let developers use their third-party payment systems.
“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 Korea law,” according to the official Fortnite Twitter 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,” said a spokesperson at Apple.
Epic would also have to agree to comply with Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines regarding all apps, but Epic has not consistently abided by the Guidelines, and their request of Apple does not indicate any change in Epic’s position, added Apple’s statement.
Even if the South Korean legislation, which is not yet effective, were to become law in the country, it would impose no obligation on Apple to approve any developer program account application, which includes any requests for reinstatement of a developer program account terminated prior to the legislation’s effective date, based on Apple’s statement.
In August 2020, Apple kicked Fortnite off the App Store after Epic introduced a direct payment system in Fortnite that violated Apple’s in-app purchase requirement. The two companies have been embroiled in a legal dispute over the Apple Store’s payment system.
Apple is changing its app policy to allow developers to link to external websites and it also has reached a settlement with Japan for allowing developers of “reader” apps to link to their own websites.
An Epic Games spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.