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iPhones with Fortnite Installed Sold for Thousands After Ban

David Paul

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Fortnite

Game publisher Epic has recently had a very public spat with Apple after Fortnite was removed from the digital store for bypassing its payment system.

eBay has seen an influx of users selling and buying iPhones containing the popular battle royale game Fortnite after it was banned from online stores.

The ban means that iPhone users can no longer download the game onto their phones, and some owners have taken advantage to sell handsets containing the game for thousands of pounds.

iPhones with the game installed are currently on eBay for anywhere between £40 and up to $10,000 (£7,575) in some cases.

The move comes after a recent suit between Epic Games and Apple over the company’s decision to remove the game from its stores. Epic attempted to circumvent Apple’s Store payment policy which allowed the company to take payment for each Fortnite download.

An update bypassed the store’s payment system and allowed users to purchase in-game currency for Fortnite at a lower price if they bought directly from the Epic game store.

The Apple store platform bans any payment system apart from its own, which Epic attempted to circumvent, denying Apple the income. Apple takes a cut of between 15% and 30% for most app subscriptions and payments made inside apps.

The game developer says the suit is designed to end practices related to Apple and Google app stores and establishing them as a “monopoly” in the app store market.

Epic is now using its platform to goad Apple, creating #FreeFortnite, and using the platform to make a statement against the tech giant by replicating Apple’s “1984” advert using the in-game engine.

The video, named “Nineteen Eighty Fortnite”, has female Fortnite character throwing a unicorn-shaped club into a screen containing a character with an Apple-shaped head.

Epic had also announced a free #FreeFortnite event within the game where players can win anti-apple prizes to take place on the 23rd August.

Players who compete can win an in-game skin of the apple headed character featured in Epic’s “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite” video non-iOS gaming hardware, including an Alienware laptop, a Galaxy Tab S7, a OnePlus 8 phone, a PlayStation 4 Pro, an Xbox One X, or a Nintendo Switch.

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In a statement after Epic Games filed its suit, Apple said it would now “make an exception” for the Fortnite developer.

“The App Store is designed to be a safe and trusted place for users and a great business opportunity for all developers,” the statement reads.

“Epic has been one of the most successful developers on the App Store, growing into a multi-billion-dollar business that reaches millions of iOS customers around the world. We very much want to keep the company as part of the Apple Developer Programme and its apps on the Store.

Apple said: “The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can easily be remedied if they submit an update of their app that reverts it to comply with the guidelines they agreed to and which apply to all developers.

“We won’t make an exception for Epic because we don’t think it’s right to put their business interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers.”

Speaking to The Verge, Apple said: “The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can easily be remedied if they submit an update of their app that reverts it to comply with the guidelines they agreed to and which apply to all developers.”

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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