Apple to ban Epic Games developer accounts and Unreal Engine

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Apple Inc. will ban Epic Games developer accounts and remove access to iOS and Mac development tools as retaliation for Epic Games breaking the App Store terms of service. Apple will implement these actions on August 28, one day after the release of Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 4. In response, Epic Games filed an injunction with the Northern California District court seeking a restraining order on any adverse actions by the near two-trillion dollar company.

Last week Epic Games updated Fortnite payment methods on the iOS platform. This unilateral action was in direct violation of the App Store terms of service according to Apple. When Apple removed Fortnite from the App store for these violations, Epic Games was ready with a lengthy lawsuit and a PR-focused video. The video, a parody of Apple’s infamous 1984 ad targeting IBM, sought to sway public opinion against the monopoly and antitrust actions.

Fortnite mobile players on iOS are already facing an uncertain future with the Apple-Epic tech war. The tech giant took this battle to a new level and now seeks to target Epic Games’ Unreal Engine. If Apple bans Unreal Engine development on the iOS platform, it will result in an existential threat to the game development engine, according to the injunction.

Epic says that Apple’s actions will harm millions of innocent users. Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 4 will also release on August 27. But Apple plans to ban Unreal Engine development and ban Epic Games developer accounts on August 28. iOS Fortnite player experiences will be adversely impacted as a result of these actions.

Epic Games launched Unreal Engine in 1998 and offers the engine to third-party developers to create digital three-dimensional content.

the development tool is used to develop a wide array of products like games, films, biomedical research, and virtual reality. Millions of developers rely on Unreal Engine to develop software, and hundreds of millions of consumers use that software.

Hundreds of games use Unreal Engine and rely on the ecosystem to continue operations. Here are some of the popular games using the Unreal Engine. Apple’s actions would impact the development and operations of these games on iOS and Mac devices.

  • Fortnite
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (“PUBG”)
  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • Rocket League
  • Batman: Arkham Series
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter V
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake
  • Tony Hawk 1–2 Remastered
  • Bioshock
  • Borderlands, Infinity Blade
  • Mass Effect
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
  • Unreal Tournament
  • Gears of War 4

Besides video games, Epic Games’ development tool is also used in TV series like The Mandalorian and HBO’s Westworld.

Apple has complete control and monopoly over all applications in the iOS ecosystem. Epic Games wants to end this monopoly and ensure fair competition on the system. Especially because Apple also takes a 30 percent cut from all sales on its platform. Epic Games claims that Apple’s conduct violates the Rule of Reason and the company unlawfully maintains its monopoly in the market. This is in stark contrast to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s Congressional statement two weeks ago.

“We do not retaliate or bully people. It’s strongly against our company culture.” said Apple CEO, Tim Cook.

Fortnite iOS players can just wait and watch as the two multi-million dollar companies battle it out in the courts. Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 4 will release on August 27, although its availability for iOS users is doubtful.

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Written by Rohan Samal

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