Epic Games Regains Apple Developer Account, Plans to Launch Third-Party iOS App Store in EU in 2024

Fortnite developer Epic Games will be resuming work on an iOS app store for the European Union (EU) market in 2024, over three years after losing access to Apple's developer tools.

The company has cited the EU's Digital Markets Act as the enabling factor, which forced Apple to permit third-party app stores to operate within the iOS ecosystem.

Epic Games announced the news on its company blog on Friday, stating "Epic Games Sweden AB will operate the mobile Epic Games Store and Fortnite in Europe, with the Store team leading development."

This development comes after Epic Games and Apple became embroiled in an antitrust feud in August 2020, when Apple terminated Epic Games' developer accounts, resulting in Fortnite's expulsion from the App Store.

The Digital Markets Act has forced Apple to compromise its control over the iOS ecosystem, but the company has limited the policy's application to the EU area only, citing security risks associated with third-party app stores.

Despite the allowance, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney expressed skepticism about Apple's willingness to permit a third-party app store operated by Epic Games, citing Apple's requirement for authorization.

Sweeney described Apple's decision to grant Epic Games a developer account as a "good faith move," acknowledging the company's significant antitrust battles with Apple.

It's important to note that while Epic Games will be resuming work on an iOS app store for the EU market, the future of the store remains uncertain, as Apple still has the authority to veto the operation.

This development highlights the ongoing tensions between technology giants like Apple and growing regulatory scrutiny over their competitive practices.

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