Epic Game’s battle with Apple over the way it does its business in the App Store took a turn over the weekend, with Microsoft throwing its weight behind the Fortnite developer.
Apple has warned Epic that its developer account will be canceled if it doesn’t undo the changes it made to Fortnite that allow gamers to bypass the App Store’s in-app purchase system.
If that happens, Epic will not be able to work on its iOS and Mac games. But more importantly for other developers, it won’t be able to work on Unreal Engine, either. And game developers rely on that engine for their own games.
In a new filing, Epic says that a number of other developers have reached out to say that the loss of Unreal Engine would put them at a disadvantage, with Microsoft being a notable name.
Microsoft executive Kevin Gammill wrote in a statement that “Apple’s discontinuation of Epic’s ability to develop and support Unreal Engine for iOS or macOS will harm game creators and gamers.” Gammill also says that its games, including Forza Street for iPhone and iPad, would be at a disadvantage because of the loss of Unreal Engine.
That’s unlikely to change Apple’s stance, but it won’t help its reputation among developers at a time where it’s already waning. Now we wait for the next installment in this saga – a hearing relating to Epic’s request to have Fortnite reinstated on the App Store today.
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