Apple escalates the battle against Epic


Can have «catastrophic consequences», according to the gaming company

Last week, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store, after game developer Epic updated the game with a payment solution that violated Apple’s terms.

Google decided to do the same, and Epic quickly sued both.

Now Apple has escalated the situation further. Via a Twitter message, the company writes that Apple now threatens to cut their access to all iOS and Mac developer tools.

Enormous consequences
Freezing Epic and all of their developers out of Apple’s developer program could have major consequences for Epic’s other games and services as well. Without this, Epic will not be able to verify Mac apps. This is a process that Apple requires for applications to run on newer versions of MacOS, even if they are distributed outside the App Store.

Apple has given Epic two weeks to reverse the change they made in Fortnite, before the new restrictions are implemented.

Epic has applied for a preliminary injunction against Apple, and is asking the court to stop Apple from cutting them out completely. Epic says the decision will have catastrophic consequences for them, not least because this will block their Unreal Engine – probably the world’s most popular graphics engine – from being updated and further developed.

No mercy from Apple
Apple says in a statement sent to The Verge that Epic can blame itself:

  • The App Store is designed to be a safe and reliable place for users and a good business opportunity for all developers. Epic has been one of the most successful developers on the App Store, and has grown into a multi-billion dollar business that reaches millions of iOS customers worldwide. We would very much like to keep the company as part of the «Apple Developer Program» and have their apps in the App Store. The problem Epic has created for itself is a problem that can be easily solved if they update their app to comply with the guidelines again, which they agreed to and which apply to all developers. We do not want to make an exception for Epic because we do not believe it is right to put business interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers.

Trying to find allies
According to the website The Information, Epic is working to find allies in the fight against what they believe is unfair treatment from Apple. They should have started with this even before they updated Fortnite with the infamous update, and are still actively working on it, according to the website.

Among the companies they should have had a good dialogue with is Spotify. They have not yet joined a formal alliance, but have publicly praised Epic for the fight they are waging against Apple.