This past Friday, Apple made good on its threat to terminate Epic Games’ developer accounts on iOS and Mac, which now effectively cuts off players of Epic’s titles on the platforms from seeing future updates including Fortnite, ie the game that was the reason for this whole sordid mess. And for an extra twinge of spiciness, Apple apparently put PUBG as Friday’s featured app.
Apple released a statement shortly after the move, further claiming that the whole matter is purely of Epic Games’ doing:
“We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store. We have worked with the team at Epic Games for many years on their launches and releases. The court recommended that Epic comply with the App Store guidelines while their case moves forward, guidelines they’ve followed for the past decade until they created this situation. Epic has refused. Instead they repeatedly submit Fortnite updates designed to violate the guidelines of the App Store. This is not fair to all other developers on the App Store and is putting customers in the middle of their fight. We hope that we can work together again in the future, but unfortunately that is not possible today.”
This will affect only games that Epic has made and released on iOS and Mac, but it will not have any effect on developers using Epic’s Unreal Engine, as the judge hearing the case already halted Apple from limiting access to the engine in the interest of “increasing avenues for creativity and innovation, not eliminating them.”
Epic Games has since updated an ongoing FAQ related to the fight, confirming that Fortnite’s recently released Chapter 2 – Season 4 update is not available for Apple device users while also further explaining why Epic is fighting:
“Apple’s policies would have even blocked the World Wide Web if it had been invented after the iPhone, because Apple policies disallow running code not reviewed by Apple, accepting payments directly from customers, and accessing content not reviewed by Apple — all fundamental features of the web. These policies, together with Apple’s chilling enforcement strategy, directly impede innovation and invention of entirely new kinds of apps, games, and businesses.
“Epic is one of the many game developers who has long worked to advance better and fairer platform practices, such as cross-platform gameplay, communication, accounts, and items in Fortnite on 7 platforms (though now only 6). We are committed to securing lasting freedoms for all. This is why we fight.”