Apple is holding Unreal Engine hostage, says Epic in new move

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Apple is threatening an entire ecosystem of game developers in response to the Fortnite lawsuit, Epic alleged in a new filing on Sunday.

The move focuses on iOS support for the Unreal Engine, which Apple has threatened to revoke as part of Epic’s broader loss of developer privileges. Epic has asked the court to prevent Apple from revoking that access while the case is pending. Apple responded to the request on Friday, pointing out that it was enforcing previously stated policies, but without denying that iOS support was at risk.

Epic says removing support would be unnecessarily punitive, affecting developers who built on Epic’s engine but have no vested interest in the matter. “The scale of Apple’s retaliation is in itself an illegal effort to maintain its monopoly and calm any action by others who dare oppose Apple,” the motion reads.

The filing was accompanied by a new statement from Microsoft in support of Epic’s motion, highlighting how disastrous it would be to revoke Epic’s access to Apple’s developer tools. Any developer using the engine would not be able to fix security holes or fix bugs once access was revoked, disrupting support for a wide range of games, including Microsoft’s. Power.

“Denying Epic’s access to Apple’s SDK and other developer tools will prevent Epic from supporting Unreal Engine on iOS and macOS,” said Kevin Gammill, general manager of Microsoft for third-party developers on Xbox , “And will place Unreal Engine and these game makers. who have built, are building, and can create games with substantial disadvantage. “

The conflict between Epic and Apple began on August 13, when Epic announced a new integrated payment system for Fortnite that bypassed Apple’s 30% fee – dubbed the Fortnite “Mega drop. »Apple deleted Fortnite from its App Store, citing its long-standing rules for in-app purchases. Epic has responded with an antitrust lawsuit aimed at establishing the App Store as a monopoly.

Apple responded to Epic Games’ lawsuit on Friday, asking a court to dismiss Epic’s petition. Apple claims that Epic has created a false “emergency” by accepting direct payments via Fortnite in violation of Apple’s policies. Epic, the court said, requested a special deal that Apple said would “fundamentally change the way Epic delivers apps on Apple’s iOS platform.”

“Developers who are working to cheat Apple, like Epic did here, are fired,” the court record says, adding that when developers find ways to avoid its digital payment, like Epic did, “ it’s like a customer leaves an Apple Store without paying for a stolen product: Apple doesn’t get paid. “

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