After Fortnite withdrawal, Apple threatens Epic Games to ban Unreal Engine on iOS and MacOS
Apple’s counterattack against the revolution Epic Games wants to lead will not be limited to removing Fortnite from the App Store. The guardian of the iOS temple, which has seen its untouchable functioning questioned by the designer of Fortnite through the establishment of a direct payment method preventing Apple from taking its 30% on the transactions of the battle royale, now intends to revoke Epic Games developer access to its platforms. A blockage that extends to support for the Unreal Engine on iOS and MacOS, suddenly involving many studios in this political and economic battle between multibillionaires.
It was not Apple that communicated its intentions but once again Epic Games which informed the public last night by documenting the situation in a motion filed against Apple to prevent it from carrying out its threats. If Apple were to revoke Epic Games’ developer access to the iOS and MacOS markets, the consequences would go beyond the simple distress of Fortnite players to have distressing repercussions on all studios, large and small, on which iOS and MacOS games are based. on the Unreal Engine. And especially those present in the Apple Arcade subscription such as Beyond a Steel Sky or Oceanhorn 2.
Apple has removed Fortnite from the App Store and informed Epic Games that on Friday, August 28, Apple will close all of our developer accounts and ban Epic Games from iOS and MacOS developer tools. We are asking the court to prevent this retaliation, we can read in the tweet from Epic Games. To escape this sanction, Epic Games has no other choice than to give up trying to bypass the traditional path, the one that allows Apple to touch 30% of the transactions made in each application.
But Apple’s threats only reinforce Epic Games’ discourse on the Cupertino giant’s anti-competitive practices. In its petition to the court, Epic Games points out that Apple’s intentions are not only to prevent it from submitting new applications to the App Store but also to deny it access to iOS / MacOS development tools, or yet to bring the slightest update to the Unreal Engine on these platforms, which would make the engine progressively obsolete and would certainly undermine Epic Games but also many developers involved in spite of themselves in this conflict. Among the iOS games using the Unreal Engine are Hello Neighbor, Mortal Kombat, Injustice 2, PUBG Mobile, Pascal’s Wager, Ark: Survival Evolved, Life is Strange or PES 2020.
“Apple’s actions to prevent Epic Games from accessing the tools used by developers to release their games on Apple products is a direct attack on the long-term viability of the Unreal Engine. It would become impossible for Epic Games to continue to develop the engine for use on iOS and MacOS devices. Third-party developers who rely on the Unreal Engine to power their games on Apple devices will no longer choose to use the Unreal Engine if it does not. is more compatible with Apple systems. Epic Games has released 25 updates to Unreal Engine 4 since 2014, but there would be no more updates possible on Apple products, ”the document explains.
Further in its injunction, Epic Games therefore asks the court to prevent Apple from carrying out its threats but also to prohibit the firm of Tim Cook from blocking the operation of Fortnite on iOS devices on which the battle royale is already installed. Epic Games’ request also remains to see Fortnite back on the App Store while giving users the ability to purchase V-Bucks using its direct payment method (which Google recalled as well as ‘Apple since it bypasses the 30% tax). While waiting for the reactions of the threatened developers to be heard, Epic Games therefore does not intend to be intimidated and hopes that justice will help it to question Apple’s monopoly on the processing of payments from the App Store.