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Fortnite iOS Playerbase Drops By 60% Amid Fight with Apple

Apple has hit some major blows on Epic Games, with Fortnite losing more than 60% of their iPhone audience since they were removed from the App Store.

September 5, 2020

Don’t be fooled by Epic Games and Fortnite’s confident position and marketing campaigns — according to their recent court filing against Apple, the battle royale powerhouse is hurting hard from the protracted fight. According to recent filings, the company has lost over 60% of its iOS playerbase (accounting for Mac and iPhone players) since Fortnite was removed from the App Store.

News comes from a late-night filing from Epic Games, seeking a preliminary injunction against Apple’s removal of the games from the App Store. In layman’s terms, Epic is asking the court to force Apple to add Fortnite to the App Store until a verdict can be reached in the actual trial.

If all that sounds familiar, it’s because it is — Epic Games previously tried to file this motion and was blocked by a judge, arguing that there was no actual showing of harm. Epic Games in filing this motion is certainly laying it on heavy, discussing how poorly the game is performing lately as compared to prior Apple’s decision to remove the game from the store.

According to Epic Games, this includes a more than 60% reduction in players on iOS devices:

The user outcry has been deafening, showing real harm to the public interest. Daily active users on iOS have declined by over 60% since Fortnite’s removal from the App Store. And removal already has resulted in a loss of goodwill and irreparable damage to Epic’s reputation.

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The reasons for this should be simple to deduce — for one, people looking to redownload the game (or download it for the first time) will be blocked from doing so. Anyone who is upgrading or replacing phones are out of luck if they are looking to play Fortnite.

Perhaps more importantly, iOS Fortnite players are getting a worse, stagnant version of the game as compared to other platforms. Without Epic’s ability to update the game to add any of their big-ticket PR stunts or substantive gameplay fixes, a stark rift has formed between those playing on iOS and those playing on anything else.

On the other hand, we can expect Epic Games is likely gaming some of these numbers for maximum effect for the judge. While we know that there is a 60% drop in iOS users, it isn’t immediately clear how many of these same users will simply pick up a Nintendo Switch, PS4 controller, or any other device to play Fortnite.

Fortnite is available now on most every platform, so long as you aren’t trying to play on an iPhone. Let us know below who you think will win this argument in court.

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Lou Contaldi
@loucontaldi

Lou Contaldi specializes in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.

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