Apple Threatens Retaliation Against ‘Fortnite’ Maker Epic Games in Ongoing App Store Dispute

Apple's Tim Cook got big pay bump in 2018: filing (Noah Berger/AFP)
AFP

Tech giant Apple has reportedly threatened to remove Epic Games’ access to all the development tools necessary to create software for Apple’s platforms including the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers, a move the game developer calls an “existential threat.” The threat of retaliation ratchets up the ongoing dispute between the companies sparked by the removal of Fortnite from the Apple app store.

Ars Technica reports that the recent legal battle between Fortnite developer Epic Games and tech giant Apple has continued to escalate, with Apple now threatening to cut Epic off from the developer platform for Mac and iOS at the end of this month.

Epic stated in a recent court filing that Apple’s move threatens not only Epic’s popular video game Fortnite but also every game that uses the Unreal Engine. The company stated: “By August 28, Apple will cut off Epic’s access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple’s platforms—including for the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers, which Apple has never claimed violated any Apple policy.”

In the filing, Epic stated that Apple informed the game developer that upon termination from the program, a large list of tools and features would no longer be available to the company including software development kits (SDKs), application programming interfaces (APIs) and a number of other tools. Epic would also no longer be able to conduct “Engineering efforts to improve hardware and software performance of Unreal Engine on Mac and iOS hardware; optimize Unreal Engine on the Mac for creative workflows, virtual sets and their CI/Build Systems; and adoption and support of ARKit features and future VR features into Unreal Engine by their XR team.”

Epic commented: “This would be an existential threat to the Unreal Engine. The damage to Epic’s ongoing business and to its reputation and trust with its customers will be unquantifiable and irreparable.”

As Breitbart News has previously reported, the lawsuit stems from Epic Games’ refusal to use Apple’s in-app payment system which takes a percentage of profits from developers. Breitbart News reporter Tom Ciccotta wrote in a recent article:

Breitbart News reported in June that Microsoft President Brad Smith called for an investigation by antitrust regulators into Apple’s practices. Smith specifically highlighted their App Store, which charges developers as much as a 30 percent commission. Purchases made by the consumer within the application are also subject to a commission fee. Due to Apple’s massive share of the smartphone market, many antitrust analysts have argued that this practice hurts competition.

Just moments after Fortnite was removed from the App Store, Epic Games released an advertisement that mocked Apple’s famous “1984” ad. In the advertisement, an anthropomorphic Apple speaks to the brainwashed masses about its control over the market.

Apple responded to Epic this week, telling the developer that it can make all of its legal issues disappear simply by removing its alternative payment system from the Fortnite app and using Apple’s approved in-app payment system.

“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,” Apple said. “We very much want to keep the company as part of the Apple Developer Program and their apps on the Store … 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.”

Breitbart News will continue to follow this story closely.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.