Following through with its termination notice, today Apple has terminated Epic Games’ developer account after a 14s day notice period. On August 18, the Cupertino company sent a letter to notify the developer that all of its accounts will be terminated on August 28 in light of non-compliance to App Store rules and regulations. The developer’s access to iOS and Mac development tools has also been removed.
This years-long partnership took a bitter turn when Epic released a controversial direct payment update on Fortnite iOS app which “willingly and knowingly” breached its App Store contract. When the Fortnite app was removed from the digital store, the developer filed a lawsuit. In the first court hearing, Judge Rogers ruled that Apple’s removal of the game was justified and said that “the current predicament appears of its own making. Epic strategically chose to breach its agreements with Apple.”
Apple Terminates Epic’s Developer Account
The company released the following statement to confirm the termination,
“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 means that now iOS users can only not play the new season 4 of Fortnite on their iPhones and iPads, but also can not use other apps by the developer like Infinity Blade Stickers and Battle Breakers.
Epic Games’ Response
After the court’s ruling, Apple showed flexibility and said that it is willing to welcome Fortnite back before the launch of the new season if Epic Games complies with the store’s policy. To the player’s dismay, the developer did not budge from its stance, and in a statement on Twitter it announces that the update will be released on “Apple devices”.
Apple has blocked your ability to update Fortnite on the App Store, and has said they will terminate our ability to develop Fortnite for Apple devices. As a result, Chapter 2 – Season 4 (v14.00) will not release on Apple devices on August 27.
More info: https://t.co/O1bgKgkZCp
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) August 26, 2020
Epic Games’ persistence to demand preferential treatment on the App Store’s standard 30% commission rate is unsettling. Besides the court, the developer has taken the fight to social media by launching #FreeFortnite cup and merchandise to pressure the Cupertino company to reduce the commission fee and allow Fortnite on the platform again. An email was sent to iOS Fortnite players stating,
“Apple is blocking Fortnite updates and new installs on the App Store, and has said they will terminate our ability to develop Fortnite for Apple devices. As a result, the Chapter 2 – Season 4 update (v14.00), did not release on iOS and macOS on August 27. […]
Apple limits competition so they can collect 30% of consumer payments made in apps like Fortnite, raising the prices you pay. Epic lowered prices through a direct payment option, but Apple is blocking Fortnite in order to prevent Epic from passing on the savings from direct payments to players. Epic has taken legal action to end Apple’s anti-competitive restrictions on mobile device marketplaces. Papers are available for our August 13, August 17, and August 23 filings. In retaliation for this action, Apple blocked your access to Fortnite updates and new installs on all iOS devices.”
CEO of Epic Games, @Tim Sweeney has been very vocal against the iPhone maker on social media.
While waiting for Apple to #FreeFortnite on iOS and Mac, here’s another awesome battle royale game powered by Unreal Engine! https://t.co/IZJL1YYUtv
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 28, 2020
It does not look like either one of the companies is going to back down to allow users to enjoy Fortnite. As these multi-million/billion dollar companies fight over more money, it is the consumers who suffer the loss. Share your thoughts with us in the comments.