Apple’s out to crush Fortnite and Unreal Engine, Epic Games says. Apple refuses to make exception

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Fortnite maker Epic says Apple has “retaliated ferociously” to its lawsuit over kicking its hit battle royale game off the app store.

Epic’s legal battle dramatically escalated over the weekend. What began as an argument over Epic Games wanting to charge players directly for in-game items for its hit game Fortnite, instead of using Apple’s payment system and the up to 30% commission it charges, has turned into a battle that threatens to upend game development across the industry.

After Apple kicked Fortnite and its more than 250 million players from the app store last week, Epic said in

“Not content simply to remove Fortnite from the App Store, Apple is attacking Epic’s entire business in unrelated areas,” Epic said in its filing, adding that Apple’s set a deadline of Aug. 28. “If the Unreal Engine can no longer support Apple platforms, the software developers that use it will be forced to use alternatives.” 

Epic is in a similar lawsuit against Google, which also kicked Fortnite off its app store Thursday for attempting to circumvent its commissioned payment system.

a Monday court filing that the iPhone maker is further threatening to ban the Unreal Engine code it offers to outside game developers to help them make apps of their own. 

Apple in a statement late Monday noted Epic “has been one of the most successful developers on the App Store,” and wants it to remain on its service. In order to do that, though, Apple said Epic would need to revert Fortnite to an earlier version of the game to “comply with the guidelines they agreed to and which apply to all developers.” That includes how Epic collects money from gamers.

“We won’t make an exception for Epic because we don’t think it’s right to put their businesses interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers,” an Apple spokeswoman added.

You may see Epic’s lawsuit with Apple as a corporate squabble between two multibillion-dollar companies, and the drama certainly feels like it. Epic even launched a video parody of Apple’s famous 1984 Super Bowl Macintosh ad, depicting the game maker as battling the powerful tech giant. Epic even asked users to tweet the hashtag #FreeFortnite, which shot to the top trending item worldwide on Twitter within an hour of the video’s release.

Apple in a statement late Monday noted Epic “has been one of the most successful developers on the App Store,” and wants it to remain on its service. In order to do that, though, Apple said Epic would need to revert Fortnite to an earlier version of the game to “comply with the guidelines they agreed to and which apply to all developers.” That includes how Epic collects money from gamers.

“We won’t make an exception for Epic because we don’t think it’s right to put their businesses interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers,” an Apple spokeswoman added.

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