Apple has cancelled Epic Games’ developer account on the App Store as part of its ongoing stoush with the Fortnite developer, but has left Unreal Engine intact per a court order.
The move blocks Epic from submitting new apps and updates, and means iOS customers cannot make in-app purchases through Fortnite. It was a response by Apple to Epic’s implementation of an alternative in-app purchase system for the game, which bypassed Apple’s 30% fee on these purchases and breached App Store rules. Epic has sued Apple to have Fortnite and its account reinstated; in a statement, Apple said it was “disappointed” to pull Epic’s account.
“We have worked with the team at Epic Games for many years on their launches and releases. The court recommended that Epic comply with the App Store guidelines while their case moves forward, guidelines they’ve followed for the past decade until they created this situation. Epic has refused,” Apple said.
Epic Games has fired back at Apple, saying the company is trying to force it to exclusively use Apple’s payment system.
“Their proposal is an invitation for Epic to collude with Apple to maintain their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS, suppressing free market competition and inflating prices. As a matter of principle, we won’t participate in this scheme.
“You, as a mobile device owner, have the right to install apps from sources of your choosing. Software makers have the right to freely express their ideas and to compete in a fair marketplace. Apple’s policies take these freedoms away,” the developer said.
A US judge blocked Apple from removing Epic’s Unreal Engine as well, which is used by a large number of developers to create their games; Apple has complied with the order and left Unreal Engine support on the App Store.