Welcome to the new-and-hopefully-improved Replay, WIRED’s twice monthly column where we round up some of the more interesting news unfolding in the world of video games. This time around, we have details about Nintendo’s face-off with a TikTok creator, Epic Games’ battle with Apple, and one modder’s quest to release a 60-fps version of Bloodborne. Let’s get started.
Judge Says No to Putting Fortnite Back on Apple’s App Store During Epic’s Lawsuit
As reported by our friends at Ars Technica, a federal judge has denied a request from Epic Games that would’ve ordered Apple to allow Fortnite to return to the iOS App Store while the two companies await the outcome of their ongoing lawsuit. It’s the latest in a large legal battle between the two companies hinged on Epic’s Direct Payments in-app purchase system for the game, and it essentially means that Epic will not be able to offer Fortnite on any of Apple’s platforms for the time being. In her ruling, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers said that any damages incurred by Epic during this time period are its own fault, because “this predicament is of its own making.” The ruling, however, does allow products related to the Unreal Engine to stay on the App Store, as Gonzales argues that removing them would do significant damage to the health of the development ecosystem and marketplace on the iOS platform.
The conflict between Apple and Epic began when Epic unveiled its direct payment option in the iOS version of Fortnite, a move in violation of the App Store’s standards for vendors. When Apple removed the game because of the violation, Epic sued, arguing that Apple’s control of the iOS market was “unreasonable and unlawful.” The case is still ongoing, and Rogers said in her ruling that it was too early to pass any significant judgment on Epic’s arguments regarding possible antitrust violations.
In an apparent response to the ruling, Epic CEO Tim Sweeney tweeted out sad lyrics from the Eagles song “Hotel California.” The move, pulled straight out of a teenager’s instant messaging playbook, proves, once and for all, that video games are not for adults.
Nintendo Sues TikTok Creator Over Pokémon References
In other legal news, we now turn our attention to a story that might sound familiar to longtime readers: Nintendo being litigious when confronted with the work of a small creator. This time, as reported by Kotaku, the creator is TikTok influencer Digitalprincxss, known until recently as Pokeprincxss. Due to her use of Pokémon imagery in her merchandise and content, Nintendo recently sent Digitalprincxss a cease-and-desist order, requiring her to change her name and pay back revenue to Nintendo for the use of their intellectual property.
Notably, Digitalprincxss also creates adult content on an OnlyFans account, a move that she believes is closely tied to Nintendo’s decision to pursue legal action against her. “Nintendo doesn’t want people to think that I’m in any way, shape, or form affiliated with them, or that I have a partnership with them, and it all comes back to me being an adult entertainer,” she said in a recent video. And while it’s hard to guess at Nintendo’s motives, the company is certainly careful when it comes to its image, so this doesn’t seem completely impossible.
Bloodborne Modder Vows to Release 60-fps Mod If Sony Doesn’t Do It First
Prolific modder of From Software games Lance McDonald, like that one villain with the nice jawline in that one Marvel movie, has looked deep within his heart, found a need there, and decided to take care of it himself. In this case, the need is to play Bloodborne, the PlayStation 4 FromSoft exclusive, a bit better. For months now, MacDonald has been working on and showcasing a mod that allows the game to run on PS4 and PS4 Pro consoles at 60 frames-per-second, a meaningful improvement from the game’s standard 30 fps and a modification that, on the Pro at least, runs remarkably well for an unintended feature.