Epic Games vs Apple is heating up in a battle-royale style fight, pun intended! Just last week, Epic Games decided to take on Apple App Store’s “monopolistic model” and updated Fortnite to allow for in-app purchases to circumvent the App Store and their 30% overhead. Since this is a direct violation of the App Store terms of service, Apple removed Fortnite from the store. Epic Games immediately slapped Apple with a lawsuit, not for money, but for “injunctive relief to allow fair competition…”
Today, Epic Games has now reported that Apple has informed them that they will be removing its account on August 28th. What does this mean? Apple is removing Epic’s access to Apple’s developer tools that enables them to create and update games on the iOS and macOS platforms which could potentially cause problems as iOS 14 and macOS 11 (Big Sur) are both due out in a couple of months.
The biggest threat is to the Unreal Engine which is used by a number of games to create beautifully detailed 3D environments in real-time. If you’re not familiar, games like PUBG, Mortal Kombat X, Life is Strange, and Infinity Blade all use the Unreal Engine. Without access to the Unreal Engine, these games will be forced to either leave the Apple App Store, or come up with a new solution to drive these popular games which could cause major delays. At this time, it doesn’t appear that games using the Unreal Engine will be removed but future updates can be quite made difficult.
In an attempt to prevent this from happening, Epic Games filed an injunction in Northern California to block Apple from removing access to these tools. Epic is arguing that this is a retaliatory response to the lawsuit that can destroy the entire Epic line on iOS and macOS.
Just over two weeks ago, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook was asked during a CongressionalEpic Games, Inc vs Apple Inc 8/17/2020
hearing whether Apple has “ever retaliated against or disadvantaged a developer who went
public about their frustrations with the App Store”. Mr. Cook testified, “We do not retaliate or
bully people. It’s strongly against our company culture.” But Apple has done just that. When
Epic gave users of its app Fortnite a choice of how they wanted to make purchases, Apple
retaliated by removing Fortnite from its App Store. Then when Epic sued Apple to break its
monopoly on app stores and in-app payments, Apple retaliated ferociously. It told Epic that by
August 28, Apple will cut off Epic’s access to all development tools necessary to create software
for Apple’s platforms—including for the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers,
which Apple has never claimed violated any Apple policy.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below. Who do you think is right? What’s the outcome?