In most cases, breaking the rules either leads to a big payoff or a stiff penalty. Epic Games learned that the hard way last week after the gaming giant tried to skirt Apple’s 30% commission policy on purchases made in the popular game Fortnite. Epic Games tried to bypass the Apple payment systems by offering players a 20% discount on in-game currency, V Bucks, but only if they paid Epic Games directly for the purchase. This violates the App Store policies and Epic Games got caught.
A few hours later, the hammer was brought down, and the game was banned from the App Store, making Fortnite downloads unavailable for iPhone. Epic Games then tried the same thing with the Google Play Store. The hammer came down again, and Fortnite was banned from Google Play, too — making it tough to download the game on Android devices as well. Looking for other cool phone downloads? Try these 10 essential apps for your iPhone instead.
Epic Games is now suing both Google and Apple over the ban, and Fortnite players who hadn’t downloaded the games to their phones prior to the ban can no longer do so. This has caused iOS phones with Fortnite to be in high demand, with some going for thousands of dollars on resale sites.
How Fortnite is affecting the iPhone resale market
The blowback from Android users who play Fortnite on their phones has been limited. Part of the reason they aren’t panicking is that Android phones offer an open system, making it easier to install whatever you want on them, and Fortnite is no exception.
Google has also stated that the game will be brought back to the Google Play Store, which has kept Fortnite fans from snatching up overpriced phones that had Fortnite installed on them prior to the ban.
iPhone users are another story entirely. Fortnite is easily one of the most popular games available in 2020, and now that it’s banned from the App Store, iPhone users can’t download it if they hadn’t done so prior.
Those who downloaded it prior to the ban, however, are in luck. Epic stated that iOS users who have already downloaded the game can keep playing it, though they will not be able to access new content or updates in the future.
This has led to an increased demand for iPhones that come with the Fortnite app installed on them. This week, iPhones with pre-installed Fortnite apps were going for a premium on sites like eBay, with some commanding prices into the thousands — with some listings asking prices as high as $10,000 or more.
Should I buy an iPhone with Fortnite off eBay?
Well, that’s up to you, but chances are the game will, at some point, return to the App Store. These things happen, they just don’t often happen to games as popular as Fortnite. Does it warrant $5,000 for a used iPhone 8 Plus? Probably not.
If you think back, you may remember that a similar situation occurred when Konami pulled the Silent Hill PT demo from PS4 a few years ago. After the game was pulled, the PS4 devices that had the Silent Hill game installed on them started popping up on eBay for huge sums of money, too. People want what they can’t have — even if it’s a basic horror game demo on a PS4.
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The difference with that situation was that the Silent Hill PT demo was only available on the PS4, which made the game even more enticing to gamers who enjoy having access to unusual or exclusive content. That’s not the case with Fortnite, which may be banned from the App Store, but is available on a ton of other platforms.
If you want to play Fortnite, you still have the option to play the game via PC, Mac, and on gaming consoles like Xbox One, Ps4, and Nintendo Switch. Plus, sometime in the future, Android phones will have the download option again via the Google Play Store. You can always opt to make the switch to Android from iOS if you must play Fortnite on your phone.
So don’t panic iPhone users. The game is banned from the App Store, but you can make the temporary switch to a gaming console or a PC-based version of Fortnite instead. It’ll save you thousands of dollars and buy you time until the kinks are worked out between Epic Games and Apple. It’s bound to happen at some point. Both parties have too much to lose.