Discover client recommended agencies
Agencies for Growth Festival Banner

Epic Games requests Apple restores Fortnite in South Korea after new law is passed

Lawmakers passed a bill in early September to amend South Korea’s Telecommunications Business Act

Epic Games has asked Apple to restore its Fortnite developer account after South Korea ordered Apple to allow developers to use their own payment systems for in-app purchases.

“Epic intends to re-release Fortnite on iOS in Korea offering both Epic payment and Apple payment side-by-side in compliance with the new Korean law,” the company said in a tweet.

What happened?

  • Apple and Epic Games have been embroiled in a court case after the Fortnite maker Epic took the tech giant to court to answer its accusations of breaching American antitrust law, following a fallout last August when its hit Fortnite game (and all other Epic content) was unceremoniously booted out of the App Store.

  • Epic parodied Apple’s 1984 ad in response, urging fans to help #FreeFortnite.

  • Epic is unhappy with the 30% commission charged by Apple for digital app sales, a ‘significant economic drag’ that undermined its ability to invest in new and existing apps.

  • Apple is angered by Epic’s decision to embed its dedicated payment processing system into Fortnite – a clear contravention of Apple’s contractual obligation that developers utilize its payment system for in-app digital purchases.

Why is this important?

  • Lawmakers passed a bill in early September to amend South Korea’s Telecommunications Business Act to prevent large app-market operators such as Google and Apple from requiring the use of their in-app purchasing systems.

  • Once the bill is signed into law by President Moon Jae-in, South Korea will become the first country to ban app-market operators from unreasonably delaying the approval of apps or deleting them from the marketplace.

  • Failure to comply could see companies fined up to 3% of their South Korean revenue by the Korea Communications Commission, the country’s media regulator.

  • When the law is introduced, Apple will need to enable third-party payment options on its iOS App Store, which currently demands that all transactions be handled through Apple’s systems, for which the company takes a 30% cut.

  • For Google, it will need to do the same for its Google Play store as Android systems enable third-party app stores and direct payments through other channels. Google Play remains the dominant marketplace in the ecosystem and takes a similar 30% cut.

By continuing to use The Drum, I accept the use of cookies as per The Drum's privacy policy