Apple Threatens to Terminate Epic Games' Developer Accounts on August 28

Apple is planning to terminate Epic Games' entire access to its App Store and app development tools, ‌Epic Games‌ said today. Apple told Epic that by August 28, all access will be ended.

fortnite apple featured
That includes Epic's access to the development tools necessary to create software for the Unreal Engine that Epic offers to third-party developers for their games. In response, Epic has filed a court order asking a Northern California court to stop Apple from removing Epic's ‌App Store‌ access. [PDF] From the filing:

It told Epic that by August 28, Apple will cut off Epic's access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple's platforms--including for the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers, which Apple has never claimed violated any Apple policy.

Cutting off Epic's access to Mac and iOS developer tools could have a significant impact on all of the apps and games that use Epic's Unreal Engine. Apple in its letter to ‌Epic Games‌ letting it know about the upcoming account closures says that Epic can avoid having its access revoked by following Apple's ‌App Store‌ guidelines. From Apple's letter to Epic:

Upon further review of the activity associated with your Apple Developer Program membership, we have identified several violations of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement. Therefore, your Apple Developer Program account will be terminated if the violations set forth below are not cured within 14 days. [...]

If your membership is terminated, you may no longer submit apps to the App Store, and your apps still available for distribution will be removed. You will also lose access to the following programs, technologies, and capabilities:

- All Apple software, SDKs, APIs, and developer tools
- Pre-release versions of iOS, iPad OS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS
- Pre-release versions of beta tools such as Reality Composer, Create ML, Apple Configurator, etc.
- Notarization service for macOS apps
- App Store Connect platform and support (for example, assistance with account transition, password reset, app name issues)
- TestFlight
- Access to provisioning portal for certificate generation, and provisioning profile generation
- Ability to enable Apple services in-app (i.e. Apple Pay, CloudKit, PassKit, Music Kit, HomeKit, Push Notifications, Siri Shortcuts, Sign in with Apple, kernel extensions, FairPlay Streaming)
- Access to Apple-issued keys for connecting to services such as MusicKit, DeviceCheck, APNs, CloudKit, Wallet
- Access to Developer ID signing certificates and Kernel Extension signing certificates
- Developer Technical Support
- Participation in Universal App Quick Start Program, including the right to use the Developer Transition Kit (which must be returned to Apple)
- Engineering efforts to improve hardware and software performance of Unreal Engine on Mac and iOS hardware; optimize Unreal Engine on the Mac for creative workflows, virtual sets and their CI/Build Systems; and adoption and support of ARKit features and future VR features into Unreal Engine by their XR team

We hope that you are able to cure your breaches of the Apple Program License Agreement and continue to participate in the program.

Epic is asking the court to prevent Apple from taking "any adverse action" against it, including restricting, suspending, or terminating Epic's access to the Apple Developer program. Epic also asks that the court restrain Apple from removing, de-listing, refusing to list, or otherwise making the Fortnite app unavailable, or modifying the Fortnite code.

The dispute between Apple and Epic kicked off last week when Epic made a calculated decision to defy Apple's ‌App Store‌ rules and introduce a direct payment option for in-game currency in Fortnite, skirting Apple's in-app purchase system.

Apple swiftly responded by removing the Fortnite app from the ‌App Store‌, prompting ‌Epic Games‌ to file a pre-planned lawsuit against Apple accusing the Cupertino company of being a "the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation" and imposing "anti-competitive restraints" and using "monopolistic practices in markets" against ‌‌App Store‌‌ developers.

Epic also released an anti-Apple video based on Apple's famous 1984 ad, which encourages people to "join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming 1984."


At this point in time, Fortnite remains unavailable from the ‌App Store‌, and barring court intervention or a decision to comply with the rules, all of Epic's developer accounts will be terminated at the end of the month.

Popular Stories

airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New AirPods Pro 2 Firmware

Tuesday May 28, 2024 11:46 am PDT by
Apple today released new firmware update for both the Lightning and USB-C versions of the AirPods Pro 2. The new firmware is version 6F7, up from the 6B34 firmware released in November. Apple does not provide details on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware beyond "bug fixes and other improvements," so it is unclear what's new in the update. Apple does not give...
maxresdefault

Report: These 10 New AI Features Are Coming in iOS 18

Sunday May 26, 2024 12:57 pm PDT by
iOS 18 and macOS 15 will offer an array of new AI features such as auto-generated emojis, suggested replies to emails and messages, and more, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. A significant portion of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is expected to focus on AI features. Writing his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman...
wwdc 2024 main image feature

Apple Confirms Time for June 10 WWDC Keynote, Shares Full Schedule

Tuesday May 28, 2024 10:21 am PDT by
Apple today shared details on the schedule that it has prepared for the 2024 Worldwide Developers Conference, which is set to take place from June 10 to June 14. While WWDC always includes a keynote, Apple has confirmed that it will be held on June 10 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple is expected to announce iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS 15, tvOS 18, watchOS 11, and visionOS 2, and at this time,...
Apple iPhone 15 Pro lineup Action button 230912

Apple Green-Lights iPhone 16 Pro Display Production

Tuesday May 28, 2024 5:13 am PDT by
Samsung Display and LG Display have been granted approval for mass production of OLED screens for Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro models, Korea's The Elec reports. Both suppliers apparently received approval earlier this month, paving the way for the commencement of mass production of screens for the iPhone 16 Pro models. While Samsung Display will supply OLED screens for all four iPhone 16...
iPad Pro Landscape Apple Logo Feature

Apple Says Future iPads Could Feature Landscape Apple Logo

Monday May 27, 2024 6:31 am PDT by
French website Numerama interviewed three senior Apple employees about the new iPad Pro models that launched earlier this month. While the discussion did not reveal many new details, it did mention one potential change for future iPads. While the Apple logo on the back of iPads is positioned so that it appears upright in vertical orientation, the devices are often used in landscape...

Top Rated Comments

farewelwilliams Avatar
49 months ago
Epic Games absolutely deserved it. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
Score: 186 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
49 months ago
Good. If I violated the developer agreement I’d be cut off. Nice to see Apple uniformly applying the rules we all agree to.
Score: 120 Votes (Like | Disagree)
staniforth Avatar
49 months ago
So happy Apple is doubling down and not letting Epic get away with this.
Score: 97 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
49 months ago
Epic wanted same treatment for all developers. Apple is giving Epic exactly that.
Score: 94 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kylo83 Avatar
49 months ago
Goodbye epic
Score: 88 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Red Oak Avatar
49 months ago
Good for Apple

Epic broke their TOS, snuck code in a back-door illegal update, and developed a stealth PR campaign and legal lawsuit

All while in parallel they lied to Apple
Score: 84 Votes (Like | Disagree)