Apple Threatens To 'Terminate' Unreal Engine From App Store

Apple Threatens To 'Terminate' Unreal Engine From App Store

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

18th Aug 2020 09:00

It's more than just a war of the words as Apple and Epic Games' ongoing feud has just kicked it up a notch. As both sides lock horns over Apple's 30% cut of in-app purchases, the repercussions could be felt across the wider App Store.

The latest move unveils Apple's plans to pull all Epic developer tools on August 28. For those who need a reminder, that would include all apps that use the Unreal Engine. 

Last week, Epic made the bold move tried to circumnavigate Apple's share with its own direct payment system. After Apple quickly pulled Fortnite from the App Store, Epic gave the tech giant the middle finger with a scathing take on Apple's famous "1984" ad.

It was all fun and games for a while, but now, Epic has filed a lawsuit against Apple's dominance of the market as neither side shows any sign of backing down.
 

Posting on Twitter, the Epic newsroom confirmed Apple is trying to remove all developer tools on August 28. The company said it has appealed to the courts to try and stop this potentially devastating manoeuvre. The Apple Developer Program is designed to monitor all apps, and without it, you can't get your product on the App Store.

Epic is asking for a preliminary injunction to stop Apple. The developer said it would be "irreparably harmed long before final judgement comes" if it can't get an injunction. The appeal continued to say, "Apple's actions will irreparably damage Epic's reputation among Fortnite users and be catastrophic for the future of the separate Unreal Engine business".

Apple refused to comment on the situation; however, a spokesperson pointed to last week's statement that said Epic "took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines". With Epic's hands tied, it's hard to see how Apple won't win this one.
 

Unreal Engine
Click to enlarge

Epic may be famous in the mainstream for Fortnite, but let's not forget what the Unreal Engine has done for the gaming industry in general. Powering everything from Borderlands 3 to Gears 5Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order to Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time. Even Fortnite rival VALORANT is run on Unreal.

Although most of these would be unaffected because they aren't on the App Store, there are still plenty of popular Unreal title on iOS. Alongside Mortal Kombat, there's the double blow that PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds also uses the Unreal Engine 4. 

More than just ripping Fortnite from our iOS lives, Unreal's loss would send a shockwave through the mobile gaming industry. It's also important to remember Epic's Unreal Engine 5 is supposed to power the next generation of video games. It's unclear what happens next, but what started as just a little defiance from Epic over Fortnite has turned into something much bigger!

 

Images via Epic Games | Apple

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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