INTRO: In the latest development in Epic Games legal battle against Apple, Microsoft has now expressed its support of the Fortnite developer. The incident happened just a couple of days after Apple threatened to suspend Epic’s developer accounts within a fortnight .
In case you’re out of the loop, Epic Games introduced an immediate payment system on Fortnite last week. As this method violates the app store’s policies, Apple and Google removed Fortnite from the App Store and Google Play Store respectively. The iPhone maker went a step ahead and decided to completely kick Epic off its platform, as you only read above.
Today we filed a statement in support of Epic's request to keep access to the Apple SDK for its Unreal Engine. Ensuring that Epic has access to the latest Apple technology is the right thing for gamer developers & gamers https://t.co/72bLdDkvUx
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) August 23, 2020
Over the years, Microsoft has worked with Epic Games for releasing games supported by Epic’s Unreal Engine. For instance, Forza Street, which is additionally available on iOS, is made using the Unreal Engine. The Redmond giant even features a multi-year license agreement with Epic Games.
“Denying Epic access to Apple’s SDK and other development tools will prevent Epic from supporting Unreal Engine on iOS and macOS, and can place Unreal Engine and people game creators that have built, are building and should build games thereon at a considerable disadvantage,” wrote Kevin Gammill, Microsoft’s head, Gaming Developer Experiences.
If Apple’s ban stays in situ, game developers will need to use different game engines for various platforms. This approach is not ideal and cost-effective. “Microsoft would be required to settle on between abandoning its customers and potential customers on the iOS and macOS platforms or choosing a special game engine when preparing to develop new games,“ he added.
Gammill states that suspending Unreal Engine’s development within the Apple ecosystem will harm game creators and gamers. It also affects the games that are already available on the platform in terms of future updates. Meanwhile, Apple claims that Epic created this ’emergency’ and it could easily fix things if Epic is willing to get rid of its direct payment system from Fortnite.