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We all knew that Apple booting Fortnite from the App Store was going to be popcorn-worthy, but I don’t think anyone was prepared for how far the feud would go. Reports yesterday indicated that Apple was threatening to revoke Epic Games’ access to their developer tools, which would effectively cut off any attempts at supporting and updating Unreal Engine. However, Apple removing support for Unreal Engine will not just affect Epic Games’ titles. Many other games like PUBG Mobile utilize the engine as well.
Epic Games filed a second lawsuit on Monday, August 17 in the Northern District of California district court. This one seeks a temporary restraining order “from removing, de-listing, refusing to list or otherwise making unavailable the app Fortnite, including any update thereof, from the App Store on the basis that Fortnite offers in-app payment processing through means other than Apple’s In-App Purchase.” The new lawsuit also requests that the court stop Apple from revoking its developer membership.
Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store and has informed Epic that on Friday, August 28 Apple will terminate all our developer accounts and cut Epic off from iOS and Mac development tools. We are asking the court to stop this retaliation. Details here: https://t.co/3br1EHmyd8
— Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom) August 17, 2020
Apple mandate will affect PUBG Mobile as well
While it seemed that this only affected Epic Games and its wildly popular app, it’s far from the case. Other developers are waiting to see what this means for their own games on iOS, such as Warner Bros. Interactive’s Mortal Kombat or Tencent Games’ PUBG Mobile. It’s somehow doubtful that Apple wants to anger these developers as well as others in its Apple Arcade program. Most likely they are seeking to push the developers into adding pressure upon Epic Games to relent.
“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,” said Apple in a statement. “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.”
This one hundred percent feels like a game of chicken between these two companies. It will be interesting to see if Tencent and WBIE get involved at all, and with whom they side.