Epic says Apple threatened to cut its access to all iOS and Mac developer tools in retaliation for its secret introduction of a new payment option to Fortnite last week. Due to the situation in question, the Fortnite game was removed from the App Store and Epic filed an antitrust complaint with a fairly extensive lawsuit against Apple. The lawsuit filed against Apple allegedly imposed illegal restrictions on the distribution of iOS applications.
According to a letter from Apple to Epic, Apple will terminate the gaming company’s membership in the Apple Developer Program if Epic fails to remove violations against the agreement within two weeks. This program is required to distribute apps on iOS devices or to use Apple developer tools. In this case, Epic will not be able to obtain the necessary approval for Mac applications. As a result, installing Epic’s software on Mac devices will become more difficult or blocked altogether. Apple requires all applications to be self-approved before running on newer versions of macOS, even if they are distributed outside of the App Store.
Epic has filed an injunction against Apple, asking the court to block this restriction against it. If the injunction does not arrive, Epic says, “it will be irreparably damaged long before the final decision is made.” “Apple’s actions will irreparably damage Epic’s reputation among Fortnite users and be disastrous for the future of the separate Unreal Engine business,” Epic said. he speaks. Epic also wants Fortnite to come back to the App Store, with reduced prices and alternative payment options.
Apple declined to comment on this latest move. A spokesperson for the company said Epic “took an unfortunate step in violating App Store guidelines” and “will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations,” pointing to a statement released last week by Apple.
Removing Epic from the developer program completely will further intensify an already high-risk war. The developer program is a gateway to publishing apps on Apple platforms, and the ubiquity of Epic’s Unreal Engine suggests that the situation can lead to problems that extend far beyond Epic. Unreal Engine is a hugely popular free game engine widely used by developers. Many games in Apple’s own Apple Arcade subscription service are also based on Unreal Engine. Theoretically, these developers would have to take a tough fight to create new iOS games or create updates if Apple cuts access to the software.
It is not possible to know exactly how damaging Apple’s move will be, these tools will still exist in Windows, but Epic calls it a big and scary event. “The gradual impact of ongoing Unreal Engine compatibility will threaten the applicability of the engine and disrupt the development of a number of applications and uses that rely on their graphics to create hundreds of video games, human brains, Baby Yoda, and spaceflight.”
Apple seems to be facing Epic with every possible breach it can find regarding the developer program’s deal. The company is citing not only the “Epic direct payment” feature that started this whole conflict, but also the lack of explanation, saying Fortnite uses too many “generic expressions” in the app update notes. Apple sent the warning letter on August 14th and gave Epic until August 28th to make the changes.