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.

Top Rated Comments

farewelwilliams Avatar
19 months ago
Epic Games absolutely deserved it. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
Score: 186 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
19 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
19 months ago
So happy Apple is doubling down and not letting Epic get away with this.
Score: 97 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
19 months ago
Epic wanted same treatment for all developers. Apple is giving Epic exactly that.
Score: 94 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kylo83 Avatar
19 months ago
Goodbye epic
Score: 88 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Red Oak Avatar
19 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)

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...