By now most people will have heard the names Apple and Epic Games mentioned together in a negative manner. Since the forced removal of Fortnite from Apple App Store, and Google Play, things have been heating up between the two giants.
Epic Games previously tried to sideline Apple by selling in-game currency via their own platform. This breached the contract they had with Apple. Apple immediately removed Fortnite from their platform and within minutes Epic Games had filed a court case against them. This made the situation seem like a planned attack.
Unreal Engine’s future
Now the development of Epic Games is now hanging in the balance as Apple have attempted to remove Epic Games access to the developer area of its platform. This came after Epic Games’ response of issuing a restraining order against Apple. Upon the request of the temporary restraining order, to the North California U.S. district court, Epic stated, “Epic is likely to suffer irreparable harm”.
The issue here is Unreal Engine – which is by far the most popular 3D creation platform in the gaming industry. This is created by Epic Games and is used by various other games developers all over the globe. Without developer access this would mean that Epic Games would no longer be able to make software for the Apple platforms. Nor would they have the ability to update Unreal Engine.
This news comes as Epic Games announces that Apple informed the studio it would “terminate all our developer accounts and cut Epic off from iOS and Mac development tools”.
Giving the quick turnaround with Epic Games lawsuit against Apple when Fortnite was removed, they clearly had a plan of attack. However it is difficult to predict whether this last turn of events was predicted. The loss of Unreal Engine access could be a devastating blow to Epic Games. Without the ability to update this software could mean that other developers have to look for alternatives when creating games.
Tim Sweeney is taking a new approach to this fiasco and is calling games developers to arms.
If we don’t fight for our rights where we stand, we’ll eventually run out of places to retreat to, and by then we’ll be too weak and divided to win. This is why developers need to fight the store monopolies HERE and NOW!Tim Sweeney via Twitter, August 17th 2020
Whatever the outcome, and whatever the progression of this story, irreparable damage will have been made to Epic Games reputation. There will also be questions around Unreal Engines viability as a 3D creation platform.