- The hugely popular video game from Epic was removed from the App Store on August 13
- The multi-player shooter-survival and Battle Royale title was also removed from Android’s Play Store
Since Apple decided to get rid of Fortnite from its App Store, eBay has been flooded with offers for iPhones where the cult shooter-survival game is pre-installed, with some sellers asking for as much as US$10,000.
While iPhone gamers are allowed to continue playing if they already had it installed, Apple users are no longer allowed to download the game from the App Store after developer Epic was banned for attempting to bypass Apple’s controversially high cut on app sales.
But some enthusiastic gamers seem willing to pay above the odds for a phone capable of playing the game. Offers for used iPhones with Fortnite installed have surfaced on eBay, with most sellers asking for at least US$2,000 dollars in the US or €2,000 in Germany.
“This iPhone will come with Fortnite installed on it and everything else will be deleted and removed,” says one US seller valuing their iPhone 11 at US$2,500 – roughly four times the usual price.
“I will also be logging out of all my accounts so you can use the phone while also enjoying the Fortnite app.”
Ebay said the listed iPhones did not infringe upon any of the platform’s rules.
A similar phenomenon occurred in 2014 when the hit game Flappy Bird was no longer available for download, prompting iPhone owners to offer up their devices for exorbitant prices.
The dispute between Apple and Epic Games originally flared up over the distribution of income from in-app purchases on iPhones and iPads.
If you’d already downloaded the game, you should be OK for now. Photo: EPA-EFEApple’s 30 per cent levy has been in place since the launch of the App Store in 2008 and, with a few exceptions, content in apps must run on Apple’s system.
However on August 13, Epic began offering the possibility of buying Fortnite’s virtual items directly from the makers at a lower price – and Apple promptly banned the app from the platform. Epic then swiftly responded with a lawsuit.
Apple has since reiterated that it would not make an exception for Epic and that they would instead like to bring the game back to the App Store without the direct purchase options.
Google has also banned Fortnite from its Play Store, but Android users are still able to “sideload” apps onto their devices by downloading them from a website and manually installing them.
Epic even offers secure downloads directly from its own servers. If you have an Android phone you can go to fortnite.com/android on your smartphone’s browser or scan a QR code on the Epic homepage.
You then have to grant the respective browser the right to install the software and, if necessary, also send a critical request from Google’s virus scanner Play Protect.
Fortnite newcomers who prefer Apple devices, on the other hand, will have to wait until this conflict is solved or else spend big cash on a used iPhone.