Apple have allegedly threatened to terminate all of Epic Games’ App Store developer accounts and cut off tools for development on iOS and Mac; most likely due to their alternative payment method for Fortnite and subsequent legal action.
As we previously reported, Epic Games announced that the price of V-Bucks, Fornite‘s in-game currency that can be bought with real money, would permanently be 20% cheaper on all platforms. However, on Android and iOS, a new payment method was introduced.
Rather than buying the V-Bucks through Google Play and the App Store respectively, Epic Games launched the “Epic direct payment.” “When you choose to use Epic direct payments,” the announcement explains, “you save up to 20% as Epic passes along payment processing savings to you.”
This is due to Apple and Google collecting a 30% fee through all V-Bucks bought on their respective platforms. As such, the 20% drop has not been applied to purchases made through them. Epic Games state that “If Apple or Google lower their fees on payments in the future, Epic will pass along the savings to you.”
Shortly after this announcement, Apple and Google both removed Fortnite from the App Store and Google Play Stores respectively due to Epic Games violating their terms of service. Epic Games issued legal action against both, citing that they had a monopoly over their stores on iOS and Android.
Epic Games may have been expecting action from Apple however, having made a parody of Apple’s own 1984 commercial; appealing to their fans to support them.
Now, Epic Games are claiming that Apple will terminate all Epic Game developer accounts on the App Store, and cut off access to iOS and Mac development tools.
“Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store and has informed Epic that on Friday, August 28 Apple will terminate all our developer accounts and cut Epic off from iOS and Mac development tools. We are asking the court to stop this retaliation.”
Epic Games have also issued a motion to prevent Apple from doing so. Therein, Epic Games argue they are likely to win their anti-trust against Apple, and that Apple’s actions “will irreparably harm Epic’s reputation and cripple the Unreal Engine well before this case is adjudicated.”
So far, Epic Games on iOS and Mac include the Infinity Blade trilogy, Battle Breakers, the Unreal Tournament series, Jazz Jackrabbit 2, and Shadow Complex Remastered. Spyjinx is also set to enter beta on iOS in 2020.
Depending on how the case goes, or even the following days, we could see drastic changes on what platforms the Epic Games Store will support, and possibly even the Unreal Engine.
Fortnite is available on Windows PC, Mac (both via the Epic Games Store), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Holiday 2020 on PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X. It used to be available on Android, and iOS.