Epic Games must have felt pretty comfortable goading Apple and Google into booting Fortnite from their respective app stores given the huge install base. But apparently some phone owners already see potential to cash in on the now banned app.
Because neither Apple nor Google has taken the draconian step of remotely removing Fortnite from iOS and Android devices, existing players can carry on competing in multiplayer battles. And that means that an iPhone or Android device with Fortnite on it has suddenly become a whole lot more valuable.
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Search Ebay for the term “iPhone Fortnite installed” (opens in new tab) and you’ll find plenty of optimistic listings, with prices going as high as $10,000. Whether anyone would actually pay anywhere near that amount is another matter, of course, but there’s undoubtedly a huge buzz around a game that was free to download at the start of the month.
Those with long memories may be getting a sense of deja vu here. Remember Flappy Bird? It was a free smartphone game that went viral, before the creator inexplicably pulled it from the app stores. Handsets with the game flooded Ebay, and one reportedly went for $94,000 (opens in new tab).
A little more recently, certain PS4 consoles attracted similar interest when Konami announced that demos of the cancelled PT game would no longer be available to download. Consoles with the original teaser are still really hard to find (opens in new tab), even if the demo has been remade by fans plenty of times (opens in new tab).
As for Fortnite, we really wouldn’t recommend paying over the odds for an iPhone with the game installed. Not only can it be enjoyed on plenty of other platforms, but you’d have to keep the Apple account of the previous owner to play it which feels like a terrible deal for both parties. Our advice? Save your money and play it elsewhere. Or hope that Epic Games makes peace with both Apple and Google...