It’s been a crazy couple of days over at Apple and Epic Games, and the chaos isn’t even close to blowing over. We’ve already reported on Apple and Google removing Fortnite from their respective app stores, but it seems as though the kerfuffle has only just begun.
Epic’s way of handling Apple’s (and Google’s) decisions hasn’t been all that great, which continues to be the case. While they are technically fighting for a good cause, their agenda has (and always will be) motivated by personal gain and revenue. The fact that they tried to frame Apple as a greedy corporation (while being one) is quite laughable. To make matters ever worse, it seems as though their actions kickstarted an all-out war.
According to Epic, Apple is now threatening to cut all ties with the developer, and also revoke access to its developer tools. This includes both iOS and Mac. They’ve also given Epic two weeks to resolve the “issue” i.e. update Fortnite without the in-game payment system.
As one Twitter user put it, Epic is playing 4D chess but Apple has opted for an all-out nuclear war. Epic, in response, has filed a preliminary injunction against Apple and hopes to settle the case in court. Still, they’ll fight an uphill battle. Apple rarely, if ever, budges from their views and they probably don’t intend to start doing so now.
Epic’s shady decision to update Fortnite with an in-app payment option without telling Apple is obviously an egregious call, and they’re being pushed into a corner as a result. They’re fighting for what they believe in, but they’re doing so against one of the richest companies in existence. The fact that they’re far from a white knight only further hinders their chances.
It’s a Two-Way Street
This also goes to show just how powerful Apple is. Without an amicable solution between the two, Apple could lose out as well. More than a few games within the Apple Arcade run on Unreal Engine, one of the world’s most popular game engines developed by none other than Epic.
A twist for the ages!
If Epic ends up losing its developer licence, these developers could suffer as well. At best, they’d have to switch to Unity, but whether or not that’s possible is highly questionable.
Epic Games have a deadline to meet: August 28th. If they don’t make the necessary changes they’re going to get booted off the App store — this time in every possible way. They’re being pressured by Apple in quite dramatic fashion, but they should’ve seen it coming.
Either way, this is an interesting situation that could affect gaming (and game development) on Apple devices as a whole. Epic Games has been pushed into a corner, and the onus is on them to react.