Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

Epic Games Store isn't on the EU App Store yet because of some user interface buttons

Epic Games Store

Last updated

Epic Games has hit out against Apple for allegedly dragging its heels to approve the Epic Games Store in the EU, calling Apple's objection to a few button designs and locations a violation of the Digital Markets Act.

Epic Games has long held the dream of opening its own app marketplace instead of relying on the App Store. As the dream nears becoming reality, Apple is accused of preventing Epic from getting past the final hurdle.

In a series of posts to X via its "Newsroom" account, initially seen by Reuters, Epic outright blames Apple for blocking the Epic Games Store.

The first two tweets claim that Apple rejected the Epic Games Store from notarization twice. The reason for the rejection is alleged to be that Epic's store has an "Install" button that is designed and positions too similar to Apple's "Get" button.

Apple is also supposedly against the use of Epic's "In-app purchases" label due to being too similar to the App Store's version.

In defending its position, Epic reasons that it's using the same naming conventions that are employed across numerous app storefronts on different platforms. Epic is also said to be following standard conventions for buttons in iOS apps.

"We're just trying to build a store that mobile users can easily understand, and the disclosure of in-app purchases is a regulatory best practice followed by all stores nowadays," it writes.

Not meeting requirements

Epic's complaints may seem fairly small for Apple to block the app, but the answer to why is probably due to the lengthy requirements apps need to pass in the App Store Review Guidelines. All apps must follow the guidelines in order to exist in the App Store.

For apps in the EU, there is an addendum, which follows similar language to the main guidelines. Like the main guideline rules, apps must abide by the addendum to meet the requirements for notarization. Apple informed AppleInsider that it was working with Epic to get the marketplace approved and running.

The bit that Epic is tripping up on is Section 2.3(G) of the Alternative Terms Addendum for Apps in the EU The text of the terms states that alternative app marketplaces, websites, or apps distributed through them "must not infringe Apple's intellectual property or appear confusingly similar to the App Store or an Apple product, service, interface, computer software application, or advertising theme."

In short, apps must not be confusable with Apple's software or interfaces. Similar button placements and designs would most likely constitute breaking this rule.

For Epic's store, Apple advises that Epic generally met the rules by not making its store similar to the App Store. That is, with the exception of the download button design and copy.

Apple insists this is a small problem that Epic could fix quickly, putting it back on track to launch its store.

Digital Markets Act shenanigans

The third tweet is more accusatory of Apple, claiming the rejection is "arbitrary, obstructive, and in violation" of the EU's Digital Markets Act. Among other measures to increase competition and to reduce the power of tech companies, the legislation also forces Apple to allow other app storefronts to exist on the iPhone within the EU.

While Apple has made concessions to the EU in iOS, and has started to allow third-party storefronts to operate in the EU, Apple is still seemingly in hot water for noncompliance. This includes threats of a potential fine over anti-steering measures in the App Store.

Epic states it has "shared our concerns" with the European Commission.

As for when the Epic Games Store will actually be available for consumers on iOS in the EU, the company insists it will be "in the next couple of months."

If Epic manages to do so, it will have accomplished the feat about four years after it instigated legal action in August 2020 through its Fortnite alternative payments update.

Update July 5, 1:02PM ET Updated with information from Apple.