The hugely popular game Fortnite has been banned from Apple’s App Store as a legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, creator of Fortnite, rumbles on.
Played by millions of gamers around the world, Fortnite is one of the most popular online games ever, but Apple users will no longer be able to play it on their devices.
Fortnite was originally taken off Apple's App Store for violating policies relating to in-app payments.
Apple has its own payment system which charges a 30% commission on all in-app purchases, but Fortnite created its own payment method which in turn bypassed Apple’s commission charge.
Apple then banned Fortnite for violating its terms, which led to Epic Games taking Apple to court over allegations of operating the App Store as a monopoly.
A US court stated that Epic failed to show that Apple was running an illegal monopoly. However, the judge also said Apple cannot force app developers to use their payment system.
As a result, both Apple and Fortnite are appealing parts of the judgement - a process which could take five years to reach a conclusion.
This means the popular game won't be available for new users to download on iPhones or other Apple devices.
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, voiced his frustration about the situation online: "Apple spent a year telling the world, the court, and the press they'd 'welcome Epic's return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else. Epic agreed, and now Apple has reneged in another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users." Mr Sweeney wrote on Twitter.
Mr Sweeney also posted correspondence between Epic Games and Apple to back up his claims:
With Apple giving no signs that it will soften its stance, it seems that Fortnite will be unavailable for download on Apple devices for the long term future. If you already have the game downloaded on your Apple device you’ll still be able to play it, but you won’t receive any updates.