It’s easy to ask the question, ‘Why won’t someone just stand up to Apple?’. Yet it’s now becoming clear why no-one dares take on the corporation and its regulations. “Apple is attacking Epic’s entire business in unrelated areas,” Epic Games stated in the latest papers filed in its lawsuit again Apple. Well, that’s why, we guess.
Last week, Epic Games, the people behind the massively popular battle royale title Fortnite, served Apple with a lawsuit after it was kicked from the App Store for going against Apple’s regulations. Now, according to an announcement on the Epic Games Newsroom Twitter account, Apple will terminate all of Epic’s developer accounts and cut the company off from iOS and Mac development tools, effective 28 August 2020.
Epic’s response to this power move is to update the terms in its court filing against Apple. It’s now requesting a temporary restraining order against Apple “…restraining Apple from taking any adverse action against Epic, including but not limited to restricting, suspending, or terminating any Epic entity from Apple’s Developer Program.”
An Epic worm in the Apple
In the filing, it’s also requesting that Apple not continue “…removing, de-listing, refusing to list or otherwise making unavailable the app Fortnite, including any update thereof, from the App Store on the basis that Fortnite offers in-app payment processing through means other than Apple’s In-App Purchase” or retaliate by “…removing, disabling or modifying Fortnite” as it is on people’s iPhones.
If Apple were to revoke Epic’s access to developer tools, a larger developer community would be at risk. Epic are the same folks behind the Unreal Engine software so if Apple continues with the cut-off, many indie (and larger) developers will be unable to develop software (or games) for Mac, iPad or iPhone.
From an outside perspective, it doesn’t seem rational to cut off Epic’s entire business (and possibly many third-party developers) from accessing Apple’s developer tools. This is very obvious blackmail on Apple’s part. Even more, all of this comes as Apple is facing antitrust allegations from the US government because of dodgy conduct through its App Store.