As of last year, CNBC reported seven million people use Epic Game’s Unreal Engine software. Not only is it a core of Epic Game’s business, but for the different game designers – including Microsoft – that use it to develop and publish their games on their desired platforms. However, with the tensions going on between Epic Games and Apple over the recent Fortnite incident, Apple has threatened to cut Epic Game’s ties from their Unreal Engine software on iOS and macOS. As a result, Microsoft has filed a statement about the consequences of that decision.
“Denying Epic’s access to Apple’s Software Development Kit (SDK) and other development tools will prevent Epic from supporting Unreal Engine on iOS and macOS, and will place Unreal Engine and those game creators that have built, are building and may build games on it at a substantial disadvantage,” stated Microsoft’s filing statement. “If Unreal Engine cannot support games for iOS or macOS, Microsoft would be required to choose between abandoning its customers and potential customers on the iOS and macOS platforms or choosing a different game engine when preparing to develop new games.”
Today we filed a statement in support of Epic’s request to keep access to the Apple SDK for its Unreal Engine. Ensuring that Epic has access to the latest Apple technology is the right thing for gamer developers & gamers https://t.co/72bLdDkvUx
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) August 23, 2020
Not only will Microsoft be in a tight spot, but other sectors of the economy that may use the software to render computer/game graphics. For instance, with virtual reality simulations becoming more common, the automotive industry uses real-time rendering using the Unreal Engine to “reduce design errors before products are built” with “the design of a product using immersive technology is important to their design process.” – stated on the Unreal Engine website. This technology is widely used in other industries, such as medicine and infrastructure, to reduce such errors and prepare companies for a better product. For a better perspective, the new Unreal Engine 5 has been a huge part in rendering PlayStation 5’s pre-development game Lumen in the Land of Nanite to provide a real-time gaming experience for all players (trailer below).
Therefore, preventing the use of the Unreal Engine software on iOS and macOS can be a huge loss for many game designers as well as other industries that wish to bring their products to Apple’s platforms. With large tech giants like Microsoft also supporting Epic Games, it will be interesting to see how Apple will respond. For future updates, check out Tim Sweeney’s Twitter page or MXDWN games in the days to come.