We reported recently that Epic was planning to take advantage of changes in South Korea’s Telecommunications Business Act that barred Apple from stopping developers from using alternate payment providers to re-release Fortnite in the country.
Epic has asked Apple to restore our Fortnite developer account. 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.
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) September 9, 2021
In a statement to MacRumors Apple has now responded with a very solid No, saying:
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 also noted that the new laws are not in effect yet, meaning they have no obligation to re-instate Epic’s developer account.
When it does become law however Apple may have much less leeway. The law includes anti-retaliation measures specifically to address the app approval process, with fines for companies that do not comply up to 3% of their South Korean revenue.
Suffice to say Epic’s battle is far from over yet.