Gaming

Apple and Epic Games’ Fortnite fallout escalates with termination of developer accounts

Apple will be terminating Epic Games’ developer accounts, thereby revoking access to iOS and Mac development tools, as a result of its war of words with the developer. 

Earlier this week, Apple told Epic Games that it will terminate its developer accounts, blocking it from iOS and Mac development tools, and removing its membership in Apple’s Developer Program. This is because Epic Games added its own payment system into Fortnite for iOS. The V Bucks bought from Apple’s payment system were more expensive, because Apple has a 30 per cent cut of digital purchases made on the App Store. This is in violation of the App Store’s policies, and in response, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store. 

Epic Games is pretty put out about this, although it is its fault for breaching the App Store policies. “Epic is not seeking monetary compensation from this Court for the injuries it has suffered. Nor is Epic seeking favorable treatment for itself, a single company. Instead, Epic is seeking injunctive relief to allow fair competition in these two key markets that directly affect hundreds of millions of consumers and tens of thousands, if not more, of third-party app developers,” read the lawsuit. 

Apple’s response to the lawsuit has been to escalate to the removal of these accounts, and Epic Games filed for a preliminary injunction against the company. It hopes that this would permit it to retain its developer access while the main antitrust case is settled. Moreover, Epic Games also asks the court Apple to reinstate Fortnite to the App Store to minimise the economic damage done to the company. 

This is kind of rubbish for the people caught in the middle of this. Developers who use Unreal Engine would lose the tech and therefore the ability to release on iOS and Mac. In addition, studios using Unreal Engine for their contracted Apple Arcade title might be in a bit of a pickle after this. We’ll keep you in the loop how this plays out.

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