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It's game (back) on: Apple have waived through Epic’s App Store submission. For now…

Though after an apparent change of heart over the weekend Apple MAY still require changes to Epic's App Store if it's ever to see the light on iOS
It's game (back) on: Apple have waived through Epic’s App Store submission. For now…
  • Epic thought their App Store had been rejected…
  • But it wasn't…
  • But it might be…

Last thing on Friday Apple rejected Epic's App Store submission, halting its journey onto iOS, leaving Epic in a bluster of confusion and Twitter-aimed rage.

But by Saturday morning it was 'game on' again and no such rejection had taken place.

At the time of writing, Epic's App Store is 'unrejected' and is continuing through Apple approvals exactly as planned.

The messy story so far…

Confusion reigned on Friday as Epic Games took to its favourite stomping ground (X, formerly known as Twitter) to decry and make public the latest way in which Apple were seeking to wring every bit of misery and pain out of being forced to allow Epic to place an App Store onto their iOS.

Epic - of course - while eager to keep Apple at arms length and itself reticent to bend to the platform holders iron will, has much to gain in placing its store on iOS, effectively allowing the return of Fortnite and more to the platform and to begin earning again in earnest.

Thus Apple’s seemingly petty observation that Epic’s Store used similar buttons to their own Apple App Store and the subsequent failure to obtain the required ‘notorisation’ to continue, pushed Epic once again off at the usual deep end.

Most interestingly Epic CEO Tim Sweeney followed the story-so-far explainers on Epic’s own Newsroom account with his own observation - that Apple had now taken the notorisation stage to the next level, becoming just another gateway that they could control and which could put the stop on anything that they didn’t like the look of. 

This despite the introduction of the EU’s Digital Markets Act aimed to prevent exactly such behaviour and laws which Apple maintains they are adhering to while the EU thinks not.

Kiss and make up?

But just when things couldn’t get any sneakier or more confusing it appeared that the panic was over. In the early hours of UK’s Saturday morning Epic announced that Apple had waived through their App Store submission and all the bluster and rage had been for naught.

Apple - meanwhile - remained and still remains entirely silent on the matter, leaving Epic frothing and moaning about - it would seem - precisely nothing.

And Sweeney's most recent Tweet outlines their (currently evidenceless) belief that while Apple HAVE approved their app, they’re still intent on forcing Epic to change their design for future versions of the app.

Thus the current blow-up seems to entirely be about the shape of some buttons that a) Apple are being idiotically pernickety to complain about, and, b) Would take Epic two minutes to change.

So what just happened?

In short, who knows? But one of two scenarios seems likely:

One, given the new, virgin territory of approving an app store within their own App Store perhaps the approvals team (or a single member thereof) took exception to the similar size and placing of Epic’s buttons and suggested they be changed. Result: Epic go bananas.

Epic and Tim Sweeney are certain that Apple is once again using every possible block, trick, trap and opportunity for befuddlement to delay their access to the iOS audience.

And the subsequent retraction of this suggestion? Perhaps someone within Apple suggested that perhaps, given the high profile nature of THIS PARTICULAR submission, and given the hot pan of DMA legal chip fat that they could be pulling down onto themselves, that they should just let this one slide instead, eh?

Alternatively, as Epic and Tim Sweeney are certain, Apple is once again using every possible block, trick, trap and opportunity for befuddlement to delay their access to the iOS audience, being hell bent on punishing the company for ever falling out with them in the first place - with the latest weapon at their disposal being the notarisation process itself - a stage distinct from ‘app approvals’ but which could - it seems - be weaponised to cause further hold-ups.

Either way, as we write and as of right now, Epic’s App Store is on the way through Apple’s approvals process once more.

Until the next face-palm, hold-up, back-stab, back-track, rule-bend or obtuse obfuscation…