Despite its explosion into popularity over the last few years, Fortnite has faced a number of challenges throughout its time in the spotlight. Perhaps the most notable dispute occurred this year when — following a dispute over in-game V-Buck microtransaction systems — Apple and Google made the decision to remove Fortnite from the respective app stores for breach of terms and conditions.
From this, a controversial movement emerged, labeled as “Free Fortnite” with Epic releasing a short cinematic — “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite” — which parodied a classic 1984 Apple ad and established their challenge against Apple publicly. Through the whole dilemma, Samsung continued to hold their support for Fortnite following a lucrative multi-year partnership which gave Samsung device owners early access to the mobile version of the popular battle royale.
After months with little news, things finally started to heat up in the last week with the tech giant Facebook joining Epic's cause, stating in a blog post they intend to provide Epic with “relevant information...regarding how Apple's policies have adversely impacted Facebook and the people and businesses who use our services.”
As the year comes to an end, Samsung has once again voiced their support for Fortnite in a surprise partnership with the Epic Games team...
In a package sent to IGN host Greg Miller, Samsung have shown their solidarity with the "Free Fortnite" campaign through an assortment of slogan branded merchandise sent in partnership with Epic Games. The package was ironically boxed in Apple-inspired packaging branded with a colorful Fortnite llama in place of the standard bitten Apple logo. Included was a new Samsung Tab S7 tablet and a "Free Fortnite" jacket.
The box was additionally enclosed with a note explaining the situation, and the partnership between the two companies:
Fortnite was named the Samsung Galaxy Store Game of the Year for 2020. In celebration, we've teamed up with Samsung to send you a special box of #FreeFortnite gear.
While Fortnite may not currently be available on the App Store or Google Play, you can still get the latest Fortnite updates directly from the Epic Games app on the Galaxy Store, spread the word, #FreeFortnite.
The Epic Games Team
WHAT THIS MEANS
Prior to last week with Facebook's show of support, the "Free Fortnite" movement has largely been silent since the late Summer, with very few developments coming since the initial announcement of the lawsuit. It has been made clear neither side has any intention of backing down from their stance and intend to continue forward with the legal proceeding in the Australian Federal Court.
Epic has had a long-standing partnership with Samsung since the initial conception of Fortnite mobile; the title had an early release on the platform along with several rare exclusive skins for recent Samsung device owners. This makes it no surprise to see the tech developer as the only major device manufacturer to support Fortnite and Epic Games.
The wording of the included note is fascinating, referring to the game as “not currently available on the App Store or Google Play,” potentially implying Epic does expect to return to the store in a potential settlement down the line.
The Direct will continue to cover any developments on the "Free Fortnite" movement and any news on a potential return to mobile devices going forward. For now, Fortnite is available free to play on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and Samsung mobile devices.