There is a new development in the legal battle that started between Apple and Epic. According to The Verge site, Epic claimed in a new petition Sunday that Apple threatened the entire game developer ecosystem over the Fortnite lawsuit.
The petition focuses on iOS support for Unreal Engine, part of Epic’s broader developer privileges, which Apple says it will revoke. Epic asked the court to prevent Apple from revoking this access while the case is pending. Apple stressed that it is following the aforementioned policies, but delivered its response on Friday, not denying that iOS support was at risk.
Epic says removing the support will be unnecessary punishment and will affect developers who are developing Epic’s engine but not directly involved in the case. The petition said, “The breadth of Apple’s retaliation is an illegal effort to maintain its monopoly and suppress any action by others that might dare to oppose Apple.”
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
The petition came at the same time as a new Microsoft statement supporting Epic’s move. Microsoft highlighted how disastrous it would be to revoke Epic’s access to Apple’s developer tools. Any developer using the engine will not be able to fix security flaws or bugs after access is revoked, and will effectively stop support for a wide variety of games, including Microsoft’s Forza.
“Blocking Epic’s access to Apple’s SDK and other development tools will affect Epic’s ability to support Unreal Engine on iOS and macOS,” said Kevin Gammill, Microsoft’s general manager of third-party developers on Xbox. With the Unreal Engine, this will place games that the game creators have built, are or will be building at a significant disadvantage. ” he added.
The conflict between Epic and Apple began on August 13, when Epic announced a new in-app payment system for Fortnite that circumvented Apple’s 30 percent commission, dubbed Fortnite “mega-discount.” Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store, citing its long-standing rules for in-app purchases. Epic responded with an antitrust lawsuit that claimed the App Store was trying to establish a monopoly.
Apple responded to the Epic Games case on Friday, asking the court to reject Epic’s request. Apple claims that Epic created a fraudulent “emergency” by accepting direct payments through Fortnite in violation of Apple’s rules. According to the court file, Epic requested a special agreement that Apple said “Epic will fundamentally change the way Apple offers apps on the iOS platform.”
In the court file, “My developers contract working to deceive Apple is terminated, as Epic does here.” is called. In addition, an analogy is made by showing Epic’s situation as an example. When developers find ways to avoid digital payment, it is stated that this is “the same as a customer leaves the Apple retail store without paying for the product purchased from the store. Apple is not paid”.