While the majority of attention for Fortnite is focused on its battle royale component, the game does offer another mode: Save the World. And now that is embroiled in the battle between Apple and Epic Games.
Yesterday, Epic Games used the official Twitter account for Fortnite to confirm that it will stop development for the PvE-styled Fortnite: Save the World on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. With that being the case, the company will effectively shut down the title for macOS on that date. When that date rolls around, the title will no longer be playable on Apple’s computers.
Apple is preventing us from distributing games on Mac which ends our ability to develop Fortnite: Save the World for the platform. Beginning September 23, 2020, Save the World will no longer be playable on Mac.
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) September 17, 2020
Epic also published a blog post on the matter, and, of course, blames Apple for this turn of events. Epic says that Apple is “preventing Epic from signing games and patches for distribution on Mac, which ends our ability to develop and offer Fortnite: Save the World for the platform”. The company also notes that an incoming update, version 14.20, will most definitely cause some bugs to pop up in version 13.40 — the version of the game macOS players will be stuck on. That will apparently result in “a very poor experience” for players.
To avoid those issues, though, Epic Games has decided to shut down Fortnite: Save the World entirely on September 23, making it no longer playable.
Apple is preventing Epic from signing games and patches for distribution on Mac, which ends our ability to develop and offer Fortnite: Save the World for the platform. Specifically, our upcoming v14.20 release will cause bugs for players on v13.40, resulting in a very poor experience. Since we are no longer able to sign updates and release fixes for these issues, beginning September 23, 2020, Fortnite: Save the World will no longer be playable on macOS.
We are issuing a refund for all players who purchased any Save the World Founder’s or Starter Packs (including Upgrades) and played Save the World on macOS between September 17, 2019 and September 17, 2020. Additionally, any purchased V-Bucks spent on Llamas on macOS in this period will also be refunded. As of today, September 17, 2020, Save the World Starter Packs will no longer be available for purchase on macOS.
For those who might not know, Fortnite‘s Save the World setting is different than the mega-popular battle royale mode. In Save the World, players are tasked with eliminating monsters from the world, and they can work with other players to do so. There are still a variety of weapons to choose from, plenty of building, and traps to set. But it’s not a player-versus-player, but rather player-versus-everything setup.
And it appears it’s the latest victim in the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games.
The timeline of events that brought us to this point is below.
August 13, 2020
- Epic Games updates Fortnite on the server-side, bypassing the App Store review process. It adds a direct payment option, breaking another rule in the process.
- Apple removes Fortnite from the App Store due to Epic Games breaking the App Store rules.
- Epic Games launches a media blitz, and it also sues Apple for anti-competitive behavior.
- Epic launches “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite”, a parody video of Apple’s original “1984” ad:
- Google removes Fortnite from the Play Store, as Epic Games also violated the Play Store’s rules.
- Epic sues Google, too.
- Spotify weighs in! Unsurprisingly, it applauds Epic Games for its decision to stand up against Apple.
August 14, 2020
- Facebook says Apple’s App Store fees make it impossible to help small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
August 17, 2020
- Apple threatens to revoke Epic Games’ developer accounts for not only iOS, but also macOS. That cut-off is set to take place on Friday, August 28, 2020.
August 18, 2020
- Apple issues an official statement on the matter in response to Epic Games.
- Epic Games is revealed to have sought a coalition of “Apple critics” to help fight against Apple.
August 20, 2020
- The Wall Street Journal and other news publications sign an open letter asking for Apple to reduce its App Store fees down to a standard 15%.
August 21, 2020
- Epic Games promotes the #FreeFortnite Cup, or tournament, that is meant to bring even more attention against Apple, and is promoting “anti-Apple” prizes.
- Epic sought special treatment for Fortnite before it declared war against Apple and the App Store’s guidelines.
August 24, 2020
- Judge Gonzalez-Rogers rules that Apple does not need to reinstate Fortnite back into the App Store as the legal battle wages on. The judge also rules that Apple cannot revoke the Unreal Engine development tools, but it can still move forward with removing Epic’s developer account for iOS and macOS.
- Apple says it agrees with the ruling made by Judge Gonzalez-Rogers, and is prepared to welcome Fortnite back onto iOS as soon as Epic Games is ready to follow the App Store guidelines.
August 26, 2020
- Epic confirms that the new season of Fortnite, which is Marvel-themed, will not be available on iOS or Mac. Cross-platform functionality with those platforms is also removed.
August 28, 2020
- Epic lets Fortnite players know in an email that it’s Apple’s fault they can’t play the new season of the game.
- Apple revokes Epic Games’ App Store and developer accounts.
September 8, 2020
- Apple countersues Epic Games in what it claims is a “breach of contract” related to its App Store practices.
September 9, 2020
- Epic Games says Apple is going to disable the “Sign in with Apple” feature as soon as Friday, September 11.
- Apple changes its mind regarding “Sign in with Apple”, allows existing customers to keep using it.