Recently, drama ensued between Apple, Google, and Epic Games over Fortnite‘s removal from the iOS and Google Play store. After a legal standoff between the companies, Apple has now decided to revoke Epic’s access to its Developer Program. This ultimately means that Epic won’t be able to develop any more games for the app store. In an attempt to find a solution, Epic Games has asked the court to stop Apple’s retaliation as they state these threats may result in “immediate and grave” consequences.
An ongoing struggle for Epic Games
Earlier this week, Epic Games sued Apple over Fortnite‘s removal from the app store. The game recently underwent a new update that allowed players to pay for V-Bucks directly through the developer, instead of through Apple. Before the update, Apple imposed a 30% “app tax” on all Fortnite purchases, leading to higher overall prices for in-game items. By cutting out the middle man, Epic Games saved players 20% on their purchases. Apple then accused Epic Games of intentionally violating the App Store guidelines, leading up to the game’s removal.
Although Epic Games has already taken legal action against the technology giant, it’s facing issues much worse than before. Apple has threatened to terminate Epic Games’ access to not only its Developer Program but also to other important tools. This includes its access to software development kits, application programming interfaces, and “pre-release versions” of iOS. Additionally, Apple will block Epic Games’ engineering efforts that improve Unreal Engine performance on Mac and iOS hardware. Unreal Engine being the game engine developed and used by Epic Games.
Fortnite Party Royale will premiere a new short: Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite. Join us at 4PM ET. pic.twitter.com/BWvndK3gDt
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) August 13, 2020
The termination of Epic Games’ iOS developer access
For a few days now, Epic has been rallying its fans to stand behind them during its legal battle. In a recent anti-Apple commercial, the gaming company sent a message to all viewers stating it has “defied the Apple store monopoly.” As a way of keeping players informed over the situation, Epic Games has turned to Twitter to post updates and allow for open conversation between fans.
Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store and has informed Epic that on Friday, August 28 Apple will terminate all our developer accounts and cut Epic off from iOS and Mac development tools. We are asking the court to stop this retaliation. Details here: https://t.co/3br1EHmyd8
— Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom) August 17, 2020
On August 17, Epic Games posted a link to a PDF detailing Apple’s threat against the company. Within the 197-page document, Apple requested that Epic Games remove Fortnite’s alternative in-app payment system within fourteen days. If Epic does not comply, then its access to Apple’s tools will be revoked. Epic argued that “Apple’s actions will irreparably damage Epic’s reputation.” In addition, if Unreal Engine developers are unable to use Apple’s development tools, then they will be forced to use alternatives.
As a part of Epic Games’ argument, it provided screenshots of player’s reviews after the game’s removal from the app store. One comment written by a parent stated that this was their only way they had access to the Fortnite. Other comments demanded for a refund, expressing their dissatisfaction over the entire situation.
At the moment, it’s unknown if the courts will allow Apple to move forward with its developer account ban. If this manages to pass through, then Epic Games will most likely find other ways to bring Fortnite to mobile players. This may possibly mean using a new game development engine or coming up with a completely different idea. Stick with eSports Smarties for more news regarding the Apple vs Epic Games situation.