The battle continues after Apple pulled Fortnite from their App Stores when Epic Games introduced a direct payment system into the game. The introduction of the system also led to Google removing the game from the Google Play Store but the game can still be installed through other App Stores. Epic announced that they will be suing Apple and Google. Now, Apple has responded with the announcement that they will be cutting off Epic Games from developer accounts and iOS and Mac development tools. What makes this such a big deal is that developers utilizing Unreal Engine for their future projects on iOS and Mac could end up not getting released.
Apple has given Epic Games until August 28 to come to an agreement regarding the issue of the direct payment system. If they don’t, then all future versions of Unreal Engine can’t be developed for iOS and Mac devices. Also going forward, updates to iOS and Mac devices could make software running on Unreal Engine unusable.
Brianna Wu, a game developer spoke to The Post about what this means for her as she has plans to port an Unreal 3 iOS game over to a 64-bit program. “Now that project is dead in its tracks. Using Unreal Engine to develop iOS games has always been extremely risky. All the greatest games of all time, games Apple promoted at iOS keynotes like Infinity Blade are gone, lost to time because Apple constantly breaks Unreal Engine with updates.”
Wu also noted that Apple wants developers to use its own integrated software development program Xcode. “Apple’s 3D tools are better than they were a decade ago,” Wu said. ” But it’s not anywhere near the league of Unreal Engine.”
Epic has responded by filing a temporary restraining order. Attorneys for Epic Games said: “Not content simply to remove Fortnite from the App Store, Apple is attacking Epic’s entire business in unrelated areas. Technology markets move swiftly… The damage to Epic’s ongoing business and to its reputation and trust with its customers will be unquantifiable and irreparable. Preliminary injunctive relief is necessary to prevent Apple from crushing Epic before this case could ever get to judgment.”
“The effects will reverberate well beyond video games,” an Epic spokeswoman wrote. It will affect developers who use the Unreal Engine on Apple products in many fields.”
Apple said that Epic Games is “one of the most successful developers on the App store, growing into a multi-billion dollar business. We very much want to keep the company as part of the Apple Developer Program and their apps on the Store. The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can easily be remedied if they submit an update of their app that reverts it to comply with the guidelines they agreed to, and which apply to all developers. We won’t make an exception for Epic because we don’t think it’s right to put their business interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our consumers.”
What happens next between Apple and Epic remains to be seen.