Apple sets deadline in feud with Fortnite maker Epic Games

Apple threatens to cut off access to development tools if Epic does not back down within 14 days

Apple has given the Fortnite developer Epic Games less than two weeks to stop breaking its payment rules or it will cut off Epic’s access to development tools on Mac and iOS.

The ultimatum puts Epic’s wider business at risk if it continues the standoff it started on Friday when it unilaterally introduced its own payment mechanism to Fortnite, bypassing Apple’s requirement to pay a 30% cut of earnings to the App Store. Apple removed Fortnite from the store in response.

It also threatens to limit the work of clients of the company’s Unreal Engine, a tool used in creations as diverse as Disney’s The Mandalorian, Mercedes’ vehicle prototypes and Sky Sports’ live graphics, as well as in video games including Fortnite.

While the Unreal Engine will continue to work if Epic’s developer account is closed, Epic will be unable to fix or improve the Mac or iOS versions.

Epic, which is suing Apple over its alleged App Store monopoly, filed in court on Monday to try to prevent the “adverse action”. It said in a filing that “absent a temporary restraining order granted without further notice, Epic is likely to suffer irreparable harm”.

An Epic spokesperson said: “Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store and has informed Epic that on Friday 28 August Apple will terminate all our developer accounts and cut Epic off from iOS and Mac development tools We are asking the court to stop this retaliation.”

Apple confirmed it had issued the warning. “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,” a spokesperson said.

“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.”

Contributor

Alex Hern

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Microsoft joins court battle between Apple and Fortnite maker Epic
Dispute over in-app purchases is seen as proxy war over future of App Store

Alex Hern

24, Aug, 2020 @12:02 PM

Article image
Fortnite could face year-long Apple ban, says Epic Games
Court filings reveal Apple may delay return even if developer backtracks in App Store dispute

Alex Hern

09, Sep, 2020 @9:47 AM

Article image
Fortnite maker Epic plays David to Apple's Goliath in App Store showdown
Games firm launches perfectly stage-managed attack just as tech giants’ detente is fracturing

Alex Hern

14, Aug, 2020 @2:11 PM

Article image
Fortnite shoots to the top of teenagers' most-wanted games list
Players snap up clothing items as iPhone version of free video game tops iTunes chart in 13 countries

Keith Stuart

23, Mar, 2018 @1:52 PM

Article image
Why are Apple and Epic going to court over Fortnite currency?
We look at the issues that led the two firms to pick a fight over content allowed on Apple’s App Store

Alex Hern

02, May, 2021 @3:10 PM

Article image
Fortnite maker Epic Games sues Apple in Australia for App Store ban
Video game company alleges Apple misuses its market power and forces apps to pay ‘monopoly prices’

Josh Taylor

18, Nov, 2020 @2:55 AM

Article image
Apple and Google remove Fortnite video game from app stores
Move over payment guideline violations prompts maker Epic Games to take legal action

Kari Paul and Mark Sweney

14, Aug, 2020 @7:16 AM

Article image
Apple: what is Fortnite feud about and what does App Store ruling mean?
Tech firm is ordered to remove restrictions on app developers steering buyers outside platform

Dan Milmo Global technology editor

10, Sep, 2021 @9:09 PM

Article image
Fortnite creator Epic Games launches Australian legal action against Google
Epic’s court battle with Google over being banned from the Play Store, mirrors one it has launched against Apple over its App Store removal

Josh Taylor

11, Mar, 2021 @2:18 AM

Article image
Fortnite maker pulls ads over YouTube 'paedophile ring' claims
Epic Games joins Nestlé in abandoning video site over comments section scandal

Jim Waterson Media editor

21, Feb, 2019 @2:14 PM