The story of Epic versus Apple continues to evolve and demands more popcorn and hand twists every day. In a tweet today, Epic announced that Apple threatened to “dismiss everyone [their] developer accounts and shuts down Epic from development tools for iOS and Mac. “This result would have drastic effects on anyone who is dependent on the Unreal Engine.
The current drama began when Epic decided to circumvent Apple̵7;s store policy and take payment without using Apple-approved (or Google-approved) systems. You can buy V-dollars from Apple or Google, or get them directly from Epic for a discount. Developers are not allowed to do that (with a few exceptions), so predictably Apple (and Google) gave Fortnite a go.
Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store and announced to Epic that on Friday, August 28, Apple will terminate all of our developer accounts and suspend Epic from iOS and Mac development tools. We ask the court to stop this retaliation. Details here: https://t.co/3br1EHmyd8
– Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom) August 17, 2020
Epic can be a household name thanks to Fortnite, but it’s not the only monkey in its favor. The company is home to several high-profile games, a PC game store, and it is the creator of Unreal Engine. Unreal Engine is one of the most popular game development engines and hundreds of third-party developers use it.
But it’s not just games that work with Unreal Engine, Disney + hit shows Mandalorian famously use Unreal engines to create their 3D environments. When filming, giant LED screens let the actors see the environment they would be in, giving them context for what happened in the background.
According to Epic, Apple will no longer move Mac apps with Apple’s features. MacOS requires apps to be notarized now, even if the application comes from sources outside the Apple Store. This means that Unreal Engine would run without updates on iOS and Mac and force developers to either abandon it or move to Windows.
All of this may be small, as Epic applied for a preliminary cross against Apple. It asks the lower courts to prevent Apple from following through on its thread. Now we are waiting to see which company flashes first.