The dramatic saga between Epic Games and Apple continues as the latter has made the most recent move. The company has deactivated the Epic Games account, essentially removing them from any and all iOS devices indefinitely. If you’ve already had any Epic Games titles downloaded to your device then you’ll still be able to play them. However, because of the removal of the developer/publisher, certain games that depend on quality of life updates, such as Fortnite, will no longer receive such implementations.
— The Verge (@verge) August 28, 2020
In the article mentioned above, Apple released a statement in regards to the current situation:
We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store. We have worked with the team at Epic Games for many years on their launches and releases. The court recommended that Epic comply with the App Store guidelines while their case moves forward, guidelines they’ve followed for the past decade until they created this situation. Epic has refused. Instead they repeatedly submit Fortnite updates designed to violate the guidelines of the App Store. This is not fair to all other developers on the App Store and is putting customers in the middle of their fight. We hope that we can work together again in the future, but unfortunately that is not possible today.
It’s also important to note, and to reiterate, that the account that was removed was main Epic Games account, not the Unreal Engine which is made for specific developers and moderated as a separate account. Thanks to a ruling from a Judge earlier this week, Apple was ordered to keep the Unreal Engine account open for other developers who rely on it for software updates. However, this did not keep Apple from taking down the Epic Games account, which they eventually decided to enact this week.
As we mentioned earlier, this is merely the latest in the Epic Games-Apple feud which began rather abruptly when Epic Games introduced their own in-game option to purchase V-Bucks, the in-game currency for Fortnite. Apple, who utilizes such options in their own App Store for any and all applications, took exception to this and promptly removed Fortnite from the App Store. This was subsequently followed by Epic Games suing Apple, and in turn Google, for removing their title from both respective stores.
Epic Games immediately used the situation to promote Fortnite with an in-game event dubbed the #FreeFortnite Cup with Anti-Apple themed prizes for the winners. At the same time, some more information regarding the lawsuit came about along with Apple promising to remove Epic Games from the App Store and restrict their access to the developer tools. One of these came true, but the Unreal Engine remains in the store. Apple responded for the first time since this all began, only for Tim Sweeney of Epic Games to shoot this down, making the situation even more tense.
Prior to the Epic Games App being taken down, you would still be able to re-download their titles if you had purchased them. Unfortunately, thanks to this recent development, you can’t even do that anymore. This has lead to some people starting to scalp their iPhone’s that have Fortnite installed on them for an insane amount of money on eBay. A similar situation occurred when Konami removed PT, the then demo of the now-canceled Silent Hill game, from the PSN.