CARY – Epic Games’ Fortnite – in older versions – has remained available on Apple devices and Google Play. But as of month’s end new restrictions from Epic will further limit access to the global hit as legal disputes with Apple and Google drag on.
Banned from both stores that turned into antitrust suits, Fortnite won’t allow players to game-spend “V-Bucks” earned by users and also will impose much tighter age restrictions recently announced after Epic agreed to a $500 million-plus settlement with the FTC over privacy issues.
The announcement made Tuesday triggered a wide range of reactions on Twitter where Epic’s Fortnite team announced the limitations.
“I’m sad that my app broke and it crashes everytime I try to launch it,” one user tweeted.
Apple and Google had imposed limits on updates, and Epic wants to move beyond older versions.
Yet there is a positive spin, as one user noted:
“Who’s excited as it appears we’re getting closer to playing a current Fortnite season on iOS again?”
Epic founder and CEO Tim Sweeney hinted recently at an undisclosed iOS solution even as Epic, Apple and Google brace for more rounds of lawsuit action.
However, one critic said the golden days of Fortnite – still a mega hit producing millions of players and, reportedly, billions of revenue a year – are past.
“Fortnite is dying bro. Y’all just kept changing everything until we are where we are today.,” one tweeter posted. “First two chapters were great. Y’all are out of touch after that. We won’t get those chapters back but that’s what would save it.”
But a critic of Tim Cook also spoke out.
“You’d be able to update it just fine if it weren’t for Timmy’s little pissbaby tantrum,” the tweet read.
Here is the formal announcement from Epic:
“Beginning January 30, Fortnite players using the August 2020 13.40 app build previously available on iOS, Mac, and Google Play can no longer spend V-Bucks and must be over 18 to play.
“We want all versions of our games to use the current suite of Epic Online Services including parental controls, purchasing defaults, and parental verification features. We are not able to update the app on these platforms given Apple and Google’s restrictions on Fortnite.”
For a detailed recap of the legal battles, see this report from Engadget.