Ap­ple takes bat­tle with Epic to an­other level

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By James Tit­comb in San Fran­cisco

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.”

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