Epic Games and Apple did had some rift over this past week with reports that the latter was pulling its game on the App Store leading the Fortnite developer to sue Apple. With that said, Epic Game is now making another claim that Apple is trying to retaliate by terminating its developer accounts as well as “cut Epic off from iOS and Mac development tools” by August 28th.
This is why the game developer wants court to intervene once again in order to get a protection against the Cupertino-based tech giant.
Epic Game stated that the removal of Fortnite, it’s biggest game as well as a termination of it’s developer’s account will cause a big blow to the company if these ever happened. Epic also stated that if access to development tools is restricted, it will affect software such as the Unreal Engine.
And the cut-off from the development tool will affect future development of games of Unreal Engine for iOS and MacOS.
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“Not content simply to remove Fortnite from the App Store, Apple is attacking Epic’s entire business in unrelated areas,” the lawsuit states. “Left unchecked, Apple’s actions will irreparably damage Epic’s reputation among Fortnite users and be catastrophic for the future of the separate Unreal Engine business.”
In the new lawsuit, there is an unveiling of a letter sent by Apple to Epic which was a threat to stop “engineering efforts to improve hardware and software performance of Unreal Engine on Mac and iOS hardware […] and adoption and support of ARKit features and future VR features into Unreal Engine by their XR team.” The latter which could be a reference to the future Apple AR and VR projects.
Epic further stated that the preliminary injunctive relief is necessary in order to further protect it’s business from being crushed before the case even get to judgement.
So there is a proposed preliminary injunction in which Apple will be restrained from removing or de-listing Fortnite (even though the company already did this) and would also prevent the company from taking any action against Epic’s other games as well as Unreal Engine.
What did cause this rift in the first place is basically the result of what Epic did where it began offering Fortnite discounts to users who bypassed Android and iOS app stores. With this, Apple and Google had to remove the game from their app stores for violating their policies leading to Epic taking the legal route as well as making a parody video of Apple which ends with the hashtag #FreeFortnite.
Apple has responded with the statement that it sent last week:
“Epic has had apps on the App Store for a decade, and have benefited from the App Store ecosystem – including its tools, testing, and distribution that Apple provides to all developers. Epic agreed to the App Store terms and guidelines freely and we’re glad they’ve built such a successful business on the App Store. The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users. We will make every effort to work with Epic to resolve these violations so they can return Fortnite to the App Store.”
When asked by Engadget, Epic Games has provided no further comment.
Apple has provided a statement to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman on terminating Epic’s developer account:
“The App Store is designed to be a safe and trusted place for users and a great business opportunity for all developers. Epic has been one of the most successful developers on the App Store, growing into a multibillion dollar business that reaches millions of iOS customers around the world. We very much want to keep the company as part of the Apple Developer Program and their apps on the Store. The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can be easily remedied if they submit an update of their app that reverts it to comply with the guidelines they agreed to and which apply to all developers. We won’t make an exception for Epic because we don’t think it’s right to put their business interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers.”