The conflict between Apple and Epic Games continues and is gaining momentum. Earlier on August 13, Epic Games added direct purchases to Fortnite, bypassing the rules of the App Store and Google Play. On the same day, Apple and Google removed Fortnite from their stores, and Epic Games sued both companies for non-competitive behavior and abuse of mobile app dominance.
Then, on August 17, Apple responded to a lawsuit from Epic Games and demanded to remove direct payments from Fortnite, threatening to delete its App Store accounts and terminate iOS and Mac development tools. Epic Games, in turn, went to court to get a temporary ban on disconnecting accounts.
On August 21, Apple accused Epic Games of wanting special conditions for itself, using Fortnite players. In response, Epic's CEO, Tim Sweeney, said that his company is demanding such conditions for all iOS developers.
Epic hosted the #FreeFortnite Cup this weekend, on August 22-23, with anti-Apple prizes.
In the next statement, Epic claims that Apple threatens the whole ecosystem of game developers. Apple has threatened that if Epic refuses to follow App Store rules, all developer accounts, including those supporting the Unreal Engine, will be removed from the system.
After that, Epic went to court, asking to ban Apple from removing Fortnite from the App Store and blocking accounts during the trial. Apple responded that it is enforcing previously stated policies and not denying potential issues with continued support for Unreal Engine on the iOS platform.
Epic states that the end of support will be an unnecessary punishment and will affect developers who have contributed to the development of the Epic engine and are not involved in the conflict.
Microsoft supported Epic Games in a new lawsuit against Apple. The head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, made a corresponding statement.
In a statement, Microsoft emphasizes that Unreal Engine is an essential engine for many developers worldwide, including itself. Many of Microsoft's Xbox and PC games use the Epic engine.
Microsoft also has a grudge against Apple, and this isn't the first time the company has openly criticized App Store policies. Earlier this month, Microsoft directly accused Apple of making it impossible for its xCloud streaming gaming service to launch on iOS.
A district court denied Epic Games' motion to temporarily restore Fortnite on the iOS App Store but also ordered Apple not to block Unreal Engine.
"The record shows potential significant damage to both the Unreal Engine platform itself, and to the gaming industry generally, including on both third-party developers and gamers, even as Epic Games violated App Store's guidelines, it did not breach any contracts related to Unreal Engine and developer tools," said U.S. District Court Judge