Epic has asked Apple to restore its access to its developer tools so it can make Fortnite available on iOS again — in South Korea, at least. The developer has revealed asking Apple to reinstate its App Store account on the official Fortnite Twitter, where it also said that it intends to offer "both Epic payment and Apple payment side-by-side in compliance with the new Korean law." Apple said in a statement, however, that there's no legitimate basis for Epic's account to be restored.
Apple terminated Epic's App Store account back in August 2020 shortly after the developer offered discounts on Fortnite's V-bucks currency and other cash purchases if players bypassed the App Store. The tech giant quickly removed the battle royale game from its store after that update went up, and Epic responded by suing Apple over its policies. Epic also tried to get the court to stop Apple from pulling its developer tools to no avail, and Fortnite hasn't been available to download on iOS ever since.
By the end of August this year, though, South Korea passed a bill requiring major app stores to allow alternative payment methods other than their own. As TechCrunch notes, the legislation is not yet in effect, but even if it already is, Korean authorities can't force Apple to reinstate or approve developer accounts under the law. The tech giant told the publication in a statement:
"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."
Apple recently changed its App Store policies to allow some developers to add external links to their applications for payments. The change only covers apps for digital magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music and video, though, such as Spotify and Netflix.