Apple’s Epic retaliation: Unreal Engine on iOS and Mac in jeopardy

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Epic went after Apple, and now the tech giant strikes back. Epic Games revealed on Twitter that Apple is revoking Epic’s permissions to develop tools for iOS and Mac on August 28.

Not only does this prohibit updates to Fortnite on iOS, but this could impact every game that uses Epic’s Unreal Engine game creation tools. Epic has filed a motion to stop this retaliation from Apple, which you can read here.

In the legal document, Epic notes the following:

If the Unreal Engine can no longer support Apple platforms, the software developers that use it will be forced to use alternatives. The damage to Epic’s ongoing business and to its reputation and trust with its customers will be unquantifiable and irreparable. Preliminary injunctive relief is necessary to prevent Apple from crushing Epic before this case could ever get to judgment.

That’s why Epic is working fast to get the courts to stop Apple before August 28. Fortnite is a huge money maker for Epic, but so is Unreal Engine. Losing access to a gaming platform as big as iOS could be a huge blow to the company.

Epic is likely to succeed on the merits of its claims, but without an injunction, Epic will be irreparably harmed long before final judgment comes. Technology markets move swiftly. Left unchecked, Apple’s actions will irreparably damage Epic’s reputation among Fortnite users and be catastrophic for the future of the separate Unreal Engine business.

This drama started on August 13, when Epic introduced a direct payment option in the iOS and Android versions of Fortnite. This circumvents the app stores, which take a 30% cut of all transactions. Apple quickly retaliated by removing Fortnite from the iOS app store. Epic responded with a lawsuit and a cartoon designed to get gamers on its side. Android would later do the same, but Epic can offer Fortnite to Android users outside of the main app store. On Apple, it’s their digital marketplace or nothing.


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