Microsoft Supports Epic Games, Says Apple Blocking Access to Unreal Engine Would Harm Game Creators

Fortnite creator Epic Games has argued that Apple's plan to terminate its Developer Program membership would be "overbroad retaliation" and "an unlawful effort to maintain its monopoly and chill any action by others who might dare oppose Apple."

fortnite apple featured
Earlier this month, Epic Games strategically violated Apple's rules regarding in-app purchases by introducing its own direct payment option for in-game currency in its hit game Fortnite on iOS. Apple promptly removed Fortnite from the App Store and subsequently informed Epic Games that its Developer Program membership would be terminated within two weeks unless it resubmits Fortnite without the direct payment option.

By having its Developer Program membership terminated, Epic Games would not only lose its ability to develop Fortnite for iOS, but also its popular game engine Unreal Engine for iOS and macOS, which thousands of developers rely on for their games.

In a court filing [PDF] today, Epic Games said that multiple Unreal Engine licensees have contacted the company "expressing grave concern over Apple's actions and its impact on their iOS and macOS-bound projects," including Microsoft.

In a declaration in support of Epic Games [PDF], Microsoft gaming executive Kevin Gammill wrote that "Apple's discontinuation of Epic's ability to develop and support Unreal Engine for iOS or macOS will harm game creators and gamers." Specifically, Gammill said that games utilizing Unreal Engine will be put at a "substantial disadvantage," citing Microsoft's own racing game Forza Street for iPhone and iPad as an example.

Apple has argued that Epic Games committed "self-inflicted wounds" by intentionally violating its rules, noting that it could have proceeded with its lawsuit without introducing a direct payment option in the Fortnite app. Apple has also said that it would be happy to have Fortnite back on the App Store if Epic Games addresses the violations.

A hearing related to Epic Games' request for a preliminary injunction, which would force Apple to put Fortnite back on the App Store during the legal proceedings, is set for tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time in California court.

Top Rated Comments

nitramluap Avatar
9 months ago

Apple has to lose this. The conditions are daylight robbery. I find the epic promo video amazingly valid.
Back then Apple opposed MS as being the bully and now it is the same but Apple is the bully.
Hahahaha, how things change.
Well, I'm a small independent developer and I disagree. The 30% is fair for what is offered from Apple's side: tax documentation, billing arrangements in different countries, visibility on the App Store, detailed metrics on usage, and more...

I dislike how 'independent developers' are OK with this until they suddenly become huge companies with million dollar budgets (and profits) - then it's suddenly 'unfair' because what they're paying Apple now amounts to millions of dollars (even though it's still the same 15/30%). It's disgusting actually, and I'll be really annoyed if the big developers pay less proportionally than the smaller ones - that's really unfair (you know, like the US tax system... great model that).
Score: 113 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SpringKid Avatar
9 months ago
Easy fix: Epic revert their change. Done. Don't put this on Apple.
Score: 59 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ael_MR Avatar
9 months ago
Epic games isn’t some white knight trying to save consumers. They simply want to gain market share with their store and have tried multiple strategies to do that. What should be regulated is the gambling aspect that has generated billions of dollars off of children.
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nattK Avatar
9 months ago
Lol I'm sure Microsoft will be singing a different tune when Epic decides to offer an alternate payment method and/or store on Xbox.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chinch07 Avatar
9 months ago
Does this mean Microsoft is lowering the 30% they get via the Xbox marketplace?
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TomMcIn Avatar
9 months ago
Having MS, a company whose stores no longer exist, telling someone with a sustainable store operation, how they should do business, is rich.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

Tile to Leverage Amazon Echo and Ring Devices to Better Compete With AirTags

Friday May 7, 2021 2:07 pm PDT by
Amazon today announced that it is teaming up with Tile to add Amazon Sidewalk integration to Tile's Bluetooth trackers. Amazon Sidewalk, for those unfamiliar, is a network of Amazon Bluetooth devices that's designed to improve the connectivity of devices like the Ring and Amazon Echo. Tile will now be joining Amazon Sidewalk, and through this integration, Amazon Echo and Ring devices will be ...
Top Stories 59 Feature

Top Stories: Epic Games vs. Apple, Hidden AirTag Mode, Apple Music Hi-Fi, Colorful MacBook Air?

Saturday May 8, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
While we wait for the newly introduced iMac, iPad Pro, and Apple TV models to launch later this month, this week saw the kickoff of the big Epic Games v. Apple trial, with lots of juicy tidbits coming out as the two sides make their arguments. This week also saw some rumors about a Hi-Fi tier for Apple Music, more biometric sensing capabilities for Apple Watch, and timing for the...
airtag hacked

AirTag Successfully Hacked to Show Custom URL in Lost Mode

Monday May 10, 2021 1:52 am PDT by
The inevitable race to hack Apple's AirTag item tracker has reportedly been won by a German security researcher, who managed to break into the device's microcontroller and successfully modify its firmware. Yesss!!! After hours of trying (and bricking 2 AirTags) I managed to break into the microcontroller of the AirTag! 🥳🥳🥳/cc @colinoflynn @LennertWo pic.twitter.com/zGALc2S2Ph— stacksmashing ...
macbook colors 3d black bezels

Prosser: Next MacBook Air Could Come in Colors Similar to iMac

Friday May 7, 2021 6:55 am PDT by
According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, Apple's upcoming release of the MacBook Air will feature various colors, similar to the colors in the newly released 24-inch iMac. In the latest video of his YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser says the same source who accurately provided him information on the first Apple silicon iMac coming in colors has told him that he recently saw a prototype...
zoom app icon

Apple Gave Zoom Access to Special API to Use iPad Camera During Split View Multitasking

Sunday May 9, 2021 2:00 am PDT by
Zoom, a hallmark platform used by millions during the global health crisis, has been given access to a special iPadOS API that allows the app to use the iPad camera while the app is in use in Split View multitasking mode. This case of special treatment was first brought to attention by app developer Jeremy Provost, who, in a blog post, explains that Zoom uses a special API that allows the...
Apple 5G Modem Feature

Kuo: Apple-Designed 5G Modem May Debut in iPhones as Early as 2023

Sunday May 9, 2021 10:02 pm PDT by
Apple plans to adopt its own custom-designed 5G baseband chip starting with the 2023 iPhones, meaning it'll no longer need to rely on Qualcomm to supply the 5G cellular modem for the iPhone, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in an investors note obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple plans to include its own custom-designed 5G baseband chip starting with the launch of the 2023...
3d printed airtag case siri remote

3D-Printed Case Lets You Attach an AirTag to Your Apple TV Remote

Monday May 10, 2021 8:11 am PDT by
Apple recently released a redesigned Siri Remote with a physical clickpad, but if you have an original Siri Remote laying around that you still plan on using, you may be interested in getting an AirTag case for the remote. Etsy user PrintSpiredDesigns has capitalized on the opportunity with a new 3D printed, made-to-order AirTag case for the original Siri Remote. The remote slides into the...
iPhone 13 Camera Backs

iPhone 13 Models Will Be Slightly Thicker and Will Have Larger Camera Bumps

Monday May 10, 2021 10:41 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 models will be slightly thicker than the iPhone 12 models and will also feature larger, thicker camera bumps with lenses that protrude less, according to iPhone 13 schematics seen by MacRumors. The new iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models are expected to feature a thickness of 7.57mm, up from 7.4mm in the iPhone 12 models. That's an increase of 0.17mm, which won't be hugely ...
ifixit m1 macbook teardown

Leaked MacBook Schematics Have Aided Independent Technicians Performing Complicated Repairs

Monday May 10, 2021 8:51 am PDT by
Independent technicians have reportedly been able to use leaked MacBook schematics to aid repairs (via Vice). Last month, Apple supplier Quanta Computer was hit with an attack by the ransomware group known as "REvil," leading to a large quantity of internal Apple documents about both released and unreleased devices being exposed. The leaked PDFs, available on a number of forums and online...