May 22, 2024
Epic Games CEO calls out Apple's DMA rules as 'malicious compliance' and full of 'junk fees'

Epic Games is preparing to return to iOS in Europe, as a result of the EU regulation, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), the company has now confirmed. The Fortnite maker says it will offer both the game and the Epic Games Stores on mobile in Europe, it shared in a blog post that looked at the year in review and what’s ahead in 2024. While the DMA would make it possible for Epic Games to operate a mobile games store, the company’s developer account had been banned from both the App Store and Google Play after it intentionally violated the companies’ rules over in-app purchases in the lead-up to its dual antitrust lawsuits with the tech giants.

Though Epic Games lost its case with Apple, as the courts ruled the Cupertino-based iPhone maker was not a monopolist, it wasn’t entirely clear if Apple would allow the developer to return to the iOS platform, given the violation. Instead, while Epic waited for its lawsuits to play out, Fortnite returned to iOS by way of a third party — Nvidia’s streaming game service, GeForce Now.

Today, the company shared that it has received its Apple Developer Account and will “start developing the Epic Games Store on iOS soon, thanks to the new Digital Markets Act.”

It’s interesting here that Epic Games is expressing gratitude for the regulation and the possibilities it holds, given that CEO Tim Sweeney heavily criticized Apple’s response, calling it “malicious compliance,” “full of junk fees,” and once again, “anti-competitive.” In a post on X, Sweeney wrote that Apple was forcing developers to choose between App Store exclusivity or accepting “a new also-illegal anticompetitive scheme,” he had said.

Despite positioning Apple’s compliance with the regulation as anti-competitive, the company does intend to leverage the new rules to once again compete on mobile, it seems.

Epic says that Epic Games Sweden AB will operate the new mobile Epic Games Store and Fortnite in Europe, while its Store team will lead development. Epic Games Sweden has a total of three studios and over 60 employees, the company also noted.

The company had earlier promised that Fortnite would return to iOS in Europe this year, but not the details of that venture. Nor had it confirmed whether it had re-obtained access to its Apple Developer account at that time.

“Stay tuned for details as we figure out the regulatory timeline,” the company posted to X last month. “We’ll continue to argue to the courts and regulators that Apple is breaking the law.”

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