Epic Games has announced that Apple plans to completely terminate Epic's access to the Apple Developer program and close all development tools for iOS and macOS apps. It will happen on August 28, if no compromise is reached between the companies.
Epic Games emphasizes that Apple's actions are aimed at tools for creating and maintaining the Unreal Engine. The termination of studio's access to Apple tools could significantly affect all apps and games using the Unreal Engine, which Epic offers to third-party developers for their games.
Epic Games applied to the court to prohibit Apple from taking "any adverse action" against the company, including restricting, suspending, or terminating Epic's access to the Apple Developer program. The studio also asked the court to prevent Apple from removing Fortnite from App Store or changing the game code.
Previously, Epic Games lowered prices for in-game currency in Fortnite for those who buy it through their own payment system, and not through the App Store or Google Play. A corresponding feature was added to the game, bypassing the rules of the App Store and Google Play. In this regard, Fortnite was removed from Apple and Google stores at once.
An Apple spokesman said that the company is very keen to see Epic Games continue to be part of the Apple Developer Program.
"The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can easily be 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," reads Apple's statement.
Apple requires Epic Games to shut down its payment system, and follow Apple policy, that is to pay a 30% commission as others do. Recall that the European Commission has launched antitrust investigations against Appledue to strict policy in the App Store and Apple Pay. Many companies claimed that Apple limits the choice of users in favor of their own services. Besides, the manufacturer limits the use of the NFC chip in their devices to Apple Pay only. That's why other financial services cannot use NFC payments through their own apps.