Apple continues to bully Epic Games after taking down Fortnite from App Store | Gaming News

Apple continues to bully Epic Games after taking down Fortnite from App Store

Epic Games may lose access to all iOS and Mac developer tools by August 28. The Fortnite maker is now moving the court to prevent the move.

| Updated on: Aug 20 2022, 22:31 IST
Epic Games has gained support from Fortnite gamers, firms on Apple standoff
Epic Games has gained support from Fortnite gamers, firms on Apple standoff (Bloomberg)

Epic Games is facing Apple's wrath after the Fortnite developer introduced a new payment option to evade the App Store tax. Since then, Fortnite has been banned from Apple's app store and the two sides have entered in a legal tussle. Now, Epic Games has revealed Apple has made another threat – cutting off access to all iOS and Mac developer tools by August 28. It further said that it is going to ask the court to stop this retaliation.

Epic Games also called out Apple on Tim Cook's testimonial at the recent Congressional hearing.

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“Just over two weeks ago, Apple's CEO Tim Cook was asked during a Congressional hearing whether Apple has “ever retaliated against or disadvantaged a developer who went public about their frustrations with the App Store”. Mr. Cook testified, “We do not retaliate or bully people. It's strongly against our company culture.” But Apple has done just that,” it said in the statement.

Epic Games also accused Apple of retaliating ferociously after when it sued Apple over its monopoly on app stores and in-app payments. The company said it had given Fortnite users a choice of how they wanted to make purchases but Apple responded by taking down the app.

ALSO READ: Here's why Fortnite got kicked off the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store

Epic Games further claimed that Apple isn't just done with banning Fortnite from the App Store and is now attacking the gaming company's entire business in unrelated areas. It said without an injunction its business may be irreparably harmed.

“Technology markets move swiftly. Left unchecked, Apple's actions will irreparably damage Epic's reputation among Fortnite users and be catastrophic for the future of the separate Unreal Engine business. If the Unreal Engine can no longer support Apple platforms, the software developers that use it will be forced to use alternatives. The damage to Epic's ongoing business and to its reputation and trust with its customers will be unquantifiable and irreparable. Preliminary injunctive relief is necessary to prevent Apple from crushing Epic before this case could ever get to judgment,” it added.

Apple responds

Apple has responded to Epic Games' accusations of bullying and trying to hurt the business. The company said that it will not make any exception for Epic Games.

Here's the full statement Apple sent to TheVerge:

The App Store is designed to be a safe and trusted place for users and a great business opportunity for all developers. Epic has been one of the most successful developers on the App Store, growing into a multibillion dollar business that reaches millions of iOS customers around the world. We very much want to keep the company as part of the Apple Developer Program and their apps on the Store. The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can easily be remedied if they submit an update of their app that reverts it to comply with the guidelines they agreed to and which apply to all developers. We won't make an exception for Epic because we don't think it's right to put their business interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers.

Apple Tax

It is not the first time Apple's App Store tax has come under the scanner. Just ahead of its WWDC 2020 developer conference, Apple was caught in a similar tussle but with a smaller company Basecamp.

ALSO READ: Ahead of WWDC 2020, voices against Apple's App Store tax get louder

Basecamp had launched an email service called Hey. Unlike other email services, Hey is a paid app, available for $99 a year. The controversy erupted when Apple prevented Hey from launching a new update to the app as it did not allow users to sign up or pay through the iOS app. Later, the two sides reached an agreement to resolve the matter.

Microsoft President Brad Smith had also called for a review of app store policies, especially Apple's. Interestingly, Apple did not allow Microsoft to launch its cloud-based gaming streaming service xCloud for its iOS users.

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First Published Date: 18 Aug, 08:57 IST