Microsoft general manager says Apple’s block of Unreal Engine ‘will harm game creators and gamers’

    
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Microsoft general manager says Apple’s block of Unreal Engine ‘will harm game creators and gamers’

The ongoing kaiju-sized hand-slapping fight between Epic Games and Apple isn’t just about two massive corporations having a hissy fit over money; it’s tangentially about whether developers will be able to use Unreal Engine to create games on iOS, something that readers will recall is under real threat thanks to retaliatory actions taken by Apple like cutting Epic off from iOS and Mac dev tools.

Now, a third party — Microsoft — has entered the ongoing legal dispute with a formal statement of support for Epic from general manager for gaming developer experiences Kevin Gammill, warning that Apple’s moves are hurting more than just Epic Games.

“Because iOS is a large and growing market for games, Apple’s discontinuation of Unreal Engine’s ability to support iOS will be a material disadvantage for the Unreal Engine in future decisions by Microsoft and other game creators as to the choice of an engine for new games.

“Even uncertainty about the Unreal Engine’s ability to continue supporting iOS and macOS will make it less likely for Microsoft (and, I believe, other game creators) to select Unreal Engine for their projects. When game creators are planning development projects, which can last for years, it is important to have confidence that the chosen engine will continue to be available on and support all platforms on which the game creators plan to distribute their games.

“Apple’s discontinuation of Epic’s ability to develop and support Unreal Engine for iOS or macOS will harm game creators and gamers.”

The fact that Microsoft is siding with Epic Games is perhaps no surprise, as the company also had cancelled plans to bring its games streaming service Project xCloud to iOS due to Apple’s restrictions — a restriction that Apple says is in place because Apple can’t personally review every playable game in the Game Pass library that xCloud draws from.

It’s still unclear whether Apple’s block of Unreal Engine is actually hurting devs using the engine, but the point stands that even the perception of things going wrong with an engine is damaging. One only has to look at what happened with Improbable’s SpatialOS and Unity as an example of what happens when engine support is suddenly severed.

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smuggler-in-a-yt

I dunno, man, this is like watching Godzilla and Mechagodzilla rumble, and meanwhile all your favorite studios are standing in the street pointing and screaming while Microsoft and the other big hitters drive around in little spark-tanks and see-the-wire-planes and shoot bottle rockets.

rafael12104
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rafael12104

Ah billion dollar company fighting trillion dollar company. Lawyers get rich, the companies maintain the status quo, and indies get screwed.

So, net, net, nothing changes in the short run. In the long run? Their will be some hoopla around a court case that lasts for about one news cycle.

This will only mean something IF other big AAA decided to push back on Apple. And will that happen? Nope! Not if Apple Phones are 100 percent Apple OS. And what are the odds of that changing?

LOL! Donald Trump is more likely to admit he was a shit president before that happens.

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Utakata

No way! FAKE NEWS!!

(Psst: Now the pigtails have your attention, there is a couple of Off-topic B&S questions I would like to ask when you got a chance! Thnkx! <3 )

rafael12104
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rafael12104

Sure thing. I’ll do my best! Ask away or in whatever forum you would like :) I can do email too, BnS game mail, etc. Whatever works best for you.

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Utakata

I didn’t think you where still playing. So I am not sure my ingame mail would ever get to you.

But either way, here’s the one I’ve been dying to to ask for awhile now. And I’ll put under a Spoiler tag being off-topic and all…

Spoiler
…you know those orange side quest chains: Is there a way I can do the final part solo as an option so I can least complete their respective storylines?

…thanks in advance if you answer that. /bows

rafael12104
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rafael12104

Spoiler
The answer is sort of. Heh. Those stories are little mini chapters and they have a good portion which is designed to be solo. It tells a good bit of story explaining why the raids are important. And you shouldn’t miss that Uta. There is one about Yulia and Jinsoyun that is very well written.

When you finish the solo quest portions of the orange story lines, it unlocks open world raids and the the instanced multi boss raids. And it is in the multi instanced raids that you get the conclusion to these stories.

So if you don’t want to raid do the solo part and then look up the finale on youtube. It puts it together quite nicely.

However, if you want to raid, Black Tower or Skybreak Spire can be four manned now and it is pretty easy to run with a decently geared small group.

But none of these finales are solo friendly.

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Utakata

Spoiler
Thanks for explaining that. As much as I don’t like the last answer…as it goes into my biggest gripe of story conclusions locked behind raid nonsense. I do appreciate you taking the time to answer it none of the less. Thank you, again! /bows

None of the less, YouTube it will have to be for now.

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Diego Lindenmeyer

Just use a Windows computer instead a Mac, gg

rafael12104
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rafael12104

Lol. MS commenting on this is priceless.

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Witches

And i’m sure this totally unbiased opinion has nothing to do with MS wanting Sony to allow crossplay with the PS, this is the same MS that forced GFW on people and then dropped it making many legally purchased games unplayable, so we know “he cares a lot” about gamers.

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kjempff

Well yes, but also don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house.

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Bryan Turner

Wait a second, if Apple unwittingly bans Unreal Engine then will this help kill Mobile Gaming?

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Schmidt.Capela

Not really. AFAIK Unity is still far more prevalent in mobile gaming than Unreal ever was. And this fight just gave mobile devs one more reason to avoid making the jump from Unity to Unreal.

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David Goodman

“Epic v. Apple is about two bullies punching a third kid (the customers/gamers) and blaming the other one for doing it.”

Also, Epic had the commercial, the lawsuit, AND the “#FreeFortnite” event ready to go and begin pretty much immediately after this happened; they planned it from the start, and I don’t doubt this is going exactly the way they want it to.

Probably did the math and realized a high profile lawsuit was better marketing and cheaper than just releasing multiple commercials and ad spots.

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Schmidt.Capela

The big question for Microsoft: if Epic had pulled the same stunt with the XBox version of Fortnite — i.e., set an in-game payment system, usable from within the console version of the game, that basically dried out all of Microsoft’s revenue from XBox players of the game — would Microsoft allow them to go scot-free?

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Arktouros

Of course they wouldn’t.

The main difference is most of the Console makers have huge dealings with Epic in other parts of their business. Unreal Engine is prominently featured in a number of games produced by or for Xbox and Playstation. Unreal Engine 5 featured at the Playstation 5 reveal even.

If you told me that all these companies have cut special deals with one another it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

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McGuffn

wonderful point

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Arktouros

It’s not Apple’s moves that are threatening Epic’s Fortnite or Epic’s Unreal engine it’s Epic’s purposeful decision to modify their game that they knew violated the developer agreement and get it pulled and did so in a way they knew would get their over all developer agreement pulled by Apple. They did so knowing that this could potentially impact their Unreal engine which would impact other developers putting them directly in between Apple’s store and Epic’s engine both of which take a cut of their product and both of which they can’t do business without.

Had Epic waited to do it’s changes, filed it’s suit against Apple, then Apple removed them from the developer program for both Fortnite and Unreal engine then the claims of retaliation would be true and Apple would be in the wrong here. Instead they pressed forward knowing the potential to do harm to other businesses who use their game engine with reckless abandon.

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Schmidt.Capela

Epic likely thought Apple would blink first.

Which, granted, was reckless. Apple can’t allow the changes Epic made to Fortnite to prevail, otherwise people will be able to just make their apps free with an in-app purchase through a different payment processor that unlocks full functionality, which means no money for Apple.

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Arktouros

If you read Epic’s opening list of demands to Apple I don’t think Epic expected Apple to blink at all and knew this was going to go to court. There is no possibility that Apple would ever willingly allow a rival storefront to open on the device they manufacture and on the operating system they run. You can also see from the email chain that they knew they were going to violate the developer application and they knew they were going to have their access removed.

The reckless part is a company who provides a game engine which many other companies and game products use to purposely break the developer agreement they agreed to. This now puts anyone who used their engine in good faith that it would keep working at jeopardy which is entirely on Epic and their decision to break the developer agreement.

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traja

It takes two to tango. Apple still has to actively make the decision to block Unreal Engine. No one is holding a gun to their heads and forcing it so this particular outcome is on both parties.

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Schmidt.Capela

Apple isn’t blocking the Unreal Engine. What it did is saying that the developer (Epic) that explicitly and intentionally violated their policies is losing access to all of Apple’s development tools at the end of this month. Which means that Epic won’t be able to test, or even compile, newer versions of Unreal for Apple platforms — but already existing versions can still be used for as long as they can still run.

This isn’t necessarily the end of Unreal on Apple devices, BTW, even if neither side backs down. Epic could always hire a third-party developer in good standing with Apple to handle the iOS and Mac versions of Unreal. It’s just Epic itself that can’t develop anything on Apple platforms until it agrees to follow Apple’s policies.

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Arktouros

@Schmidt And honestly if we’re on that topic it’s really kinda silly that people are arguing for big tech firms like Apple to be broken up because they own the hardware, operating system, and payment processing/store but think Epic owning one of the major game development engines, one of the most popular games out there and now also runs their own game store (and per the emails wants to run even more stores) isn’t a problem.

Like personally I don’t care how big a company gets so long as there’s a competitive market (and Android is destroying Apple on market share), but the misrepresentation of Epic as one of the good guys fighting for the people when they’re one of the most self serving and self righteous companies out there just bugs the fuck out of me.

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Schmidt.Capela

@Arktouros
IMHO the problem isn’t how big a company is, or even how much of the market their products cover, but whether they use their size and influence to stifle the competition.

I mean, Valve has an estimated market value very close to Epic, has a game engine they license (Source), develops games and hardware, etc; but Valve, to the best of my knowledge, doesn’t abuse all the power they have to muscle out competitors. They don’t do exclusivity deals, they don’t give discounts on game engine royalties for using their storefront, they are pretty open to selling games from everyone including competitors, etc. So, while Valve certainly has the market power to consolidate its monopoly through anti-competitive practices, it never attempted to do so.

Meanwhile, Epic seems to be using every dirty trick in the book in an attempt to displace Steam; exclusives, making exclusivity deals a condition for some games to be sold on the Epic store, reduced fees for selling on their Epic games store games that use the Unreal engine, etc.

Thus, while I would prefer healthy competition, I have no issue with Valve dominating the PC storefront; I’ve never seen Valve using any dirty tricks to attain or maintain their position. Epic, on the other hand, is a company I find actively harmful for the industry thanks to all the anti-competition tactics they employ, and as such is a company that I would prefer to see either forced to change its ways or driven out of the market altogether.

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traja

Thank you for the correction. Still, any action that Apple takes is their responsibility, even if it is in response to something that Epic did.

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Arktouros

That line of argument is absurd. Why would a company have a set of rules for people to agree to if they weren’t going to enforce said rules? Like of course Apple is going to enforce their developer agreement. They even said so in the email before Epic broke that agreement entirely.

Again Epic knew exactly what was going to happen and did it anyways despite what consequences it could have on the rest of it’s business. This was reckless and could harm other businesses. The same businesses that Epic claims it’s trying to help but we can see with their actions they have no interest in helping anyone but themselves. This was likely all a calculated move to get other companies like Microsoft backing Epic in this fight.

Like we get it, you don’t like Apple because they’re a big evil corp and employ slaves and build iPhone cases out of human bones blah blah blah, but you’re going to have to come up with better arguments than “they didn’t have to enforce the rules!” if you want to change anyone’s minds.

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traja

Oh just admit already that you have a connection to Apple. I have never seen such determination to defend a company that literally was involved with children working in factories. This is an evil company because they do evil things. Honestly you sound like an Apple PR representative.

You probably defended intentionally slowing down older phones too.

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Arktouros

I have zero connections with Apple on a professional or personal level. If qualifying my dislike for Apple will move you on from the topic and back to the discussion of Epic vs Apple then fine. I don’t like Apple because of it’s closed environment. My last Apple product was an iPhone 3GS that I couldn’t even really make use of because AT&T didn’t even have 3G in my town back in the day so I was stuck with crappy cellular internet. I hated that I couldn’t access the file system of it nor could I really customize the phone without having to install iTunes. I hadn’t minded my iPod shuffle because I could still use WinAmp to load it up but iPhone there was no options. Since then I have owned Samsung phone products and likely will never buy Apple products while they stick to their tightly controlled systems. I have not defended their slowing down older phones, nor did I like that Steve Jobs basically killed the Flash player because Flash applications on websites were free and a threat to paid applications in his store (as much as it claimed it was about porn).

I don’t really have an opinion on them using child or effective slave labor in other countries. I’m pretty sure if we did a deep examination into the business practices of most of the major corporations that our Western society utilizes for comfort and luxury we’ll find plenty of horrors to go around. I’m also sure that no small part of human suffering as a game development company crunches it’s employees into unpaid and unreasonable working hours just to get a video game out on time so people like us don’t bitch that our favorite video game was delayed a few months. We along ago accepted the Faustian bargain of cheaper luxury goods at the cost of things we’d all really rather not think about and that extends far beyond the realm of mobile phones.

However again NONE of this is relevant to Apple vs Epic in which Epic intentionally broke it’s agreement with Apple and recklessly put game development of other studios who used their Engine at risk of not having their product working. The only reason you want to bring up that garbage is because you know Epic is in the wrong here with their actions and want to talk about what an evil company Apple is instead.

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traja

Thank you. That wasn’t too bad with the exception of the whataboutism. Why I wanted you to address your apparent love for Apple is that all of your posts on this topic have been 100% one sided in favor of Apple and doing quite literal PR work for them.

Do you consider agreements between companies from an ethical standpoint? Meaning that breaking an agreement is a bad act similar to how theft is a bad act. Personally, I couldn’t care less about agreements from any other perspective than trying to predict what a court might say in this case.

Epic was surely aware that this could have negative effects on developers. The responsibility for that is on Epic. Apple on the other hand is responsible for any actions that they take that could hurt developers.

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Bruno Brito

Why I wanted you to address your apparent love for Apple is that all of your posts on this topic have been 100% one sided in favor of Apple.

Because while Apple is a disgraceful billion dollar empire, in this specific instance, they’re defending themselves against another company screwing them on their own storefront, with a smear campaing ready to go immediatelly.

Epic was surely aware that this could have negative effects on developers. The responsibility for that is on Epic. Apple on the other hand is responsible for any actions that hurts other developers.

“Epic has responsability for hurting the developers, on the other hand, Apple has responsability for hurting the developers”

Wat

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traja

I don’t question Apple defending themselves. I question people doing it on Apples behalf acting like PR representatives. If you read how Ark talks about this you will notice that it is all entirely in favor of Apple unless specifically pushed to say something, anything, even slightly negative about the company. That is what I was getting at.

Responsibility is not that complicated. Each party is responsible for their own actions. Apple has no legal obligation to direct any action at Unreal Engine, so if they do they are doing it of their own volition, and are responsible for any consequences of that. Epic too is responsible for knowingly pushing Apple towards that.

This idea that Apple is somehow not to a responsible party in things that they actively decide to do is insanity.

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Bruno Brito

No one is PR’ing for Apple. If it were up to me, both companies would crumble in a blink. I loathe them both.

But we are just explaining to you how reality is because you seem to not understand well what’s happening here. Ark is explaining. I’m explaining. Schmidt is explaining, and you seem to just sky past our explanations and keep touching the same button over and over.

This idea that Apple is somehow not to a responsible party in things that they actively decide to do is insanity.

And what did they decided to do? Because it was Epic that demanded everything, Apple denied and Epic went batshit. Should Apple bow to all powerful Epic because Epic has the power to demand stuff from Apple’s own storefront?

What the hell are you even talking about? Responsability? Are you insane? These companies are not stupid. They won’t jeopardize billion dollar profits because of a slap-fight. This shitshow has a bigger chance of being a PR stunt than it has to be whatever doom and gloom you think it’ll be.

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traja

I managed to get one of you to defend child labour overseas when it is Apple that is doing it. While Epic on the hand is the devil because they planned a stupid campaign with this stunt. Yeah, I think it is actually people doing PR for Apple. Just not you personally.

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Arktouros

It’s not really about “whataboutism” as much as I accept the futility in fighting against the misery our first world society is built upon. I am simply ambivalent to it because I don’t think it can or will ever change. If you want to scream into the void at the moral injustice of it at all until your voice gives out I’ll be over here eating my steak.

I don’t consider agreements between companies from an ethical standpoint but from a factual standpoint. If you agree to something then you are bound to that agreement. If you choose to break said agreement, then the other party will do the things they often times warn you they will do if you decide to break such agreements. Court reactions can wildly vary depending where things are filed so it’s very difficult to really predict especially when it comes to anything technology related.

Apple is responsible in that it made an agreement with a developer who decided to break that agreement and now it’s going to enforce the rules it created that agreement. However the decision to break that agreement and all the negative repercussions of deciding to break that agreement are entirely on the party who broke that agreement which is Epic Games. Trying to claim Apple is in the wrong for enforcing their rules while ignoring the fact the only reason they have to enforce said rules is because Epic broke them is a misrepresentation of the scenario. The reality is Epic could have handled this by not breaking the rules, still filing suit against Apple and not jeopardize the rest of the products they have, such as Unreal Engine, that other developers rely upon working. Instead they were told what was going to happen, did it anyways, and now here you are trying to blame Apple for following through.

And then you attempt to imply I’m the biased one LOL

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traja

You do realize that you are making up reasons why a US company should not be criticized for using child labour overseas? Because you, it’s gonna happen anyways so why bother… That is some sociopath level stuff.

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Bruno Brito

We’re not even talking about that. Stop changing goalposts. No one here is debating the ethics. Ark said himself: We’re talking facts. And facts are: Apple has rules, Epic broke them, Apple punished them for breaking the rules, Epic went completely tantrum-mode and started a smear campaing.

Apple being a shitstain of a corporation doesn’t change any of that, because their shitstainy behavior is not on debate here.

And you talk from a place of passion, like this shit is what will be Apple’s fall. It won’t. This is most likely a marketing stunt that will make both companies a shitload of money, however they find ways to monetize it.

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traja

I quote:

This now puts anyone who used their engine in good faith that it would keep working at jeopardy which is entirely on Epic and their decision to break the developer agreement.

That IS a moral argument. The only reason to care about people who use the engine is a moral one. My dispute with it is that Epic is 100% responsible for actions that Apple takes.

Please read what was actually being replied to more carefully. This is getting stupid.

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Hikari Kenzaki

The other reason this might interest Microsoft is if this swings just right, they can probably push it to the next step, which is to get Sony’s spoken/unspoken restrictions on crossplay eased.

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Arktouros

This interests Microsoft because they’re closely tied and work with Epic games or better said in Tim Sweeney’s own words “Epic hearts Microsoft.”