After removing Fortnite from the iOS store, it seems Apple has another retaliatory action in mind – cutting off Epic’s access to development tools for iOS and Mac platforms. That’s according to a new court filing from Epic, and it would mean that the company would be unable to continue developing Unreal Engine for Apple platforms, which would effectively kill the engine there. That could, in turn, have catastrophic effects for the games which use Unreal.
In a new court filing, Epic says Apple has threatened to “cut off Epic’s access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple’s platforms” by August 28. That includes “the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers, which Apple has never claimed violated any Apple policy”.
The Fortnite publisher believes that Apple’s action is “attacking Epic’s entire business in unrelated areas” following the Fortnite kerfuffle. Epic’s seeking an injunction to prevent Apple from cutting off those development tools. “Without an injunction”, the company says, “Epic will be irreparably harmed long before final judgment comes”.
Notable iOS games using Unreal include PUBG Mobile, Mortal Kombat, and ports of titles like Life is Strange, Hello Neighbor, and, of course, Fortnite.
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 also wants the injunction to prevent Apple from “removing, disabling or modifying Fortnite or any code, script, feature, setting, version or update thereof from any iOS user’s device”.
If you’re lost on the overall legal battle between Epic and Apple, you can follow that link for a more detailed breakdown.