Apple takes battle with Epic to another level
THE company behind the video game Fortnite is taking emergency legal action against Apple after it said the tech giant had blocked it from developing software for the iPhone, a move that would ripple across the games sector.
Epic Games said Apple is revoking its developer accounts, cutting off access to the digital tools needed to produce apps and other software for Apple’s iPhone and Mac computers. Apple removed Fortnite, one of the world’s most popular games, from its App Store last week after Epic broke its rules by allegedly seeking to bypass the payments system, prompting a lawsuit from Epic.
Google took the same action when a similar update to Fortnite sought to circumvent the payments system on its Play Store for Android phones, prompting a similar lawsuit.
Apple revoking Epic’s developer accounts, however, is a significant escalation with potentially wider-reaching consequences than the Fortnite ban. Epic operates the Unreal Engine, a software suite used by other game developers. Being unable to support Apple devices would potentially affect many other games that rely on the engine.
An Apple spokesman pointed to its statement from last week, when it said: “Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users.”