The war between Apple and Fortnite developer Epic Games is raging. The Cupertino brand has taken a new step by removing developer access from its platforms. In summary, all games developed with the Epic engine, and there are many, could be banned from its products. The standoff continues between the two giants.
The battle between Apple and Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, has only just begun. While the battle royale has been removed from the App Store, the Cupertino company has today decided to ban developer access from Epic. A decision with serious consequences for the publisher, but also for third-party studios who use its engine.
Epic Games is known for its games (Unreal, Gears of War and of course Fortnite) but also for its PC platform, launched in 2018. The studio’s biggest business remains the development of graphics engine, namely the famous Unreal Engine whose fifth edition was unveiled not long ago. By paying for a license, third-party studios can use this turnkey solution to quickly build their game. That’s what Apple is tackling.
Punish small studios
The Fortnite developer announced in a tweet that Apple has decided to ban its developer access from August 28, and on both iOS and Mac. Clearly, this means that games developed with the latest version of the studio’s engine would no longer be accepted on Apple’s platforms. If the games already released fear nothing, the others could suffer.
So it’s the third-party developers who could foot the bill. It is not the big studios that would be worried here, but small independent companies that use the engine for economy, and there are many. Many Apple Arcade games, like Oceanhorn 2, use the Unreal Engine. Apple’s decision could therefore have serious consequences for all sides of the case.
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
Epic Games intends to defend itself and has filed an injunction in a court in California to invalidate this decision. The studio could acquire a reprieve while finding a solution or settling the dispute between it and its opponent.
This move by Apple looks like a poker move to sell Epic Games. The latter has more to lose than to gain in this story. It remains to be seen who will give in first between the all-powerful firm and the developer with long teeth. The case could span months, or even years, and go through the justice system. In the meantime, it is the Fortnite players who are wronged, but especially third-party studios.
As a reminder, Epic Games has challenged Apple’s dominance on its platform. In Fortnite you can buy in-game money, v-bucks. With each transaction, 30% of the amount ends up in Apple’s pocket. Epic has decided to steal through its own system, both on iOS and Android. However, the thing is strictly prohibited on both platforms. Google and Apple therefore acted by banning Fortnite from their online store. Epic was hoping to shake things up with this stunt, but they broke their teeth: no exceptions are tolerated, even when it comes to the most played game on the planet.
Also read – Fortnite: iPhone with the game sold for more than 3,800 euros on eBay
The studio had however saw it coming. Immediately after his banning from the Apple Store, he ran a commercial parodying the brand’s 1984 apple ad. But make no mistake about it. Epic Games does not fight oppression for the sake of freedom. This is just a big deal here.
The summer soap opera is far from over and we are now waiting for the next twist.