What you need to know
- Apple's new iPhone 12 is here, and plenty of you will be setting up your new phones using an iCloud backup.
- If you have Fortnite installed on your old device, however, you won't be able to reinstall it.
- This is because Fortnite remains banned from the App Store, so your phone is unable to download it.
If you're buying an iPhone 12 and want to keep playing Fortnite, you might want to think twice about restoring your new phone from an iCloud backup.
As you might already be aware, if you delete or try to reinstall an iOS app that is no longer available on Apple's iOS App Store, you'll be met with an 'unable to install' error message. Sadly for gamers, this is also currently true of Fortnite.
As Twitter user Matt Birchler discovered, switching to a new iPhone and restoring from an iCloud backup will result in you losing access to Fortnite, even if you have the game installed on your previous phone.
This is the result of Epic Games' ongoing dispute with Apple over in-app-purchases and its alleged monopoly on iOS app distribution, currently an ongoing legal battle set for trial next year. Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic Games changed the way it handles payments on iOS, offering users the option to bypass Apple and buy directly from Epic in violation of the App Store guidelines.
Fortnite was removed from the App Store on August 13, and a court has twice since ruled that Apple is not required to restore the app, Judge Gonzalez Rogers ruling that there was significant public interest in requiring parties to adhere to their contractual agreements.
There are already perils for Fortnite players who want to try to update to iOS 14 due to an iOS feature that removes apps to make room for software updates before reinstalling them. If Fortnite is removed your iPhone won't be able to reinstall it for the same reason.
It's been suggested that a device-to-device transfer could be a workaround, however we understand that whilst DTD moves app data to your new phone, it still requires the app to be downloaded from the App Store to use, meaning there is likely no remedy to the issue.
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