Epic criticises Apple for ‘arbitrary’ rejection of its iOS store

5 Jul 2024

Image: © Rafael Henrique/Stock.adobe.com

The Fortnite developer claims Apple is in violation of EU rules as it prepares to launch an Epic Games Store on iOS in the ‘next couple of months’.

Epic Games has accused Apple of unfairly blocking its attempts to launch a dedicated app store for iOS devices in the latest escalation between the two tech companies.

In a post on X today (5 July), Epic said that Apple has rejected its store notarisation submission twice, claiming certain design elements of the app bear resemblance to its own App Store.

In particular, Epic said that Apple objected to the design and position of its ‘Install’ button, which the iPhone maker said was too similar to its ‘Get’ button. Epic also said that Apple deems its ‘In-app purchases’ label is too similar to the App Store equivalent.

Epic claims that its ‘Install’ and ‘In-app purchases’ naming conventions are used “across popular app stores on multiple platforms” and that it is following standard conventions for buttons in iOS apps.

“We’re just trying to build a store that mobile users can easily understand, and the disclosure of in-app purchases is a regulatory best practice followed by all stores nowadays,” the post reads.

“Apple’s rejection is arbitrary, obstructive and in violation of the DMA, and we’ve shared our concerns with the European Commission. Barring further roadblocks from Apple, we remain ready to launch in the Epic Games Store and Fortnite on iOS in the EU in the next couple of months.”

Epic Games, creator of the massively popular online game Fortnite, has been in a very public battle with Apple for years, criticising the tech giant for how it handles its App Store.

The company’s CEO Tim Sweeney has been an outspoken critics of Apple’s attempts to comply with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). In January, he said that proposals made by the company to comply with the EU rules were “a devious new instance of malicious compliance”.

Epic is not alone in its criticism. An open letter signed by 34 organisations – including Epic, Spotify and the president of Microsoft’s Xbox business – was sent to the European Commission in March, stating various concerns about Apple’s proposed measures to comply with the DMA.

Later that month, several Big Tech companies, including Meta, Microsoft and X, joined Epic in calling out Apple for its app payment rules, claiming it has made it difficult for app developers to move customers to alternative payments methods.

Find out how emerging tech trends are transforming tomorrow with our new podcast, Future Human: The Series. Listen now on Spotify, on Apple or wherever you get your podcasts.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic