Apple threatens to close Epic Games developer account on Aug. 28

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2020
Epic Games on Monday said Apple is threatening to terminate its developer account, a move that would cut it off from iOS and macOS development tools.

Credit: AppleInsider
Credit: AppleInsider


Epic informed the public of the upcoming termination over Twitter, stating that it is requesting a temporary restraining order to prevent Apple from taking "any adverse action against it."

The restraining order against Apple's actions also asks that the court prevent Apple from "removing, de-listing, refusing to list or otherwise making unavailable the app Fortnite, including any update thereof, from the App Store on the basis that Fortnite offers in-app payment processing through means other than Apple's IAP or on any pretextual basis."

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. Details here: https://t.co/3br1EHmyd8

-- Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom)


Apple's letter to Epic, which is included in the court filing, leads with:

"Upon further review of the activity associated with your Apple Developer Program membership, we have identified several violations of the Apple Developer Program License Agreement. Therefore, your Apple Developer Program account will be terminated if the violations set forth below are not cured within 14 days."

As part of the removal, Apple is stripping Epic of access to software development tools, effectively neutering the company's Unreal Engine and with it hundreds of iOS and Mac apps. Epic in its filing claims the software, which is licensed to third-party developers, did not violate Apple policy.

"Apple is attacking Epic's entire business in unrelated areas," Epic said in its lawsuit.

The current fight between the two behemoths started on Aug. 14, when Epic instated "direct payments" for the massively popular game Fortnite, effectively sidestepping Apple's 30% commission on digital goods.

Less than eight hours later, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store, saying that Epic had violated Apple's decade-old App Store terms and conditions.

Epic, anticipating the move, responded with a lawsuit alleging Apple has become a "behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition and stifle innovation," and claims that the company's size and reach "far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history."

Epic has long been critical of Apple's 30% digital commission fee, with CEO Tim Sweeney calling it an "absolute monopoly" in July.

Companies like Epic and Apple Music rival Spotify are not the only ones concerned about Apple's App Store practices. The U.S. Department of Justice and state attorneys general begun launching an antitrust investigation into Apple's App Store after developers continue to raise concerns over anticompetitive behavior.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 111
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 858member
    You play with fire, you're gonna get burnt.
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  • Reply 2 of 111
    Lol good. Don’t want their crappy games in the App Store anyway. I’m sorry, but those App Store rules are in place for a reason - to protect our way of life. If any of you have seen the mess that is the google play store, you will know what I mean... 

    Don’t like the rules Epic? Go somewhere else. 
    cat52macplusplusAnilu_777Beatsgeorgie01aderutterleavingthebiggpichaelSpamSandwichsvanstrom
  • Reply 3 of 111
    ruurdruurd Posts: 4member
    Well, if you act like and epic idiot and decide to unilaterally break an agreement you agreed to and then sue if the other party applies the rules mentioned in that agreement... Just wait until they revoke the certificates associated with your game. POOF.
    Anilu_777ramanpfaffgeorgie01aderutterpichaelSpamSandwichsvanstromjony0Dogpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 111
    carnegiecarnegie Posts: 989member
    The arrogance of Epic Games in this situation is deplorable.

    They want to use Apple's IP. In order to legally do that, they need Apple to license them the right to do so. Apple has been willing to do that, just as it has been willing to license that right to others. But in return developers have to - and should have to - agree to Apple's terms which are, all things considered, pretty reasonable. Apple built something incredible and brings a lot of value to developers - IP, access to an incredible user base, an effective stamp-of-approval from a very trusted gatekeeper, convenient payment mechanism. What it asks in return is, I think, pretty modest.

    Developers are very important to the iOS ecosystem and should be able to make money from their apps or, if they don't directly monetize their apps, provide better service to their customers through their iOS apps. But what Apple brings is very important as well, and it deserves to make money off of what it built, the services it provides, and its IP. If you don't want to agree to Apple's reasonable terms, then you shouldn't get to use Apple's IP or its App Store. Does Epic Games think that others should be allowed to use its IP without having to agree to the terms which Epic Games might impose?
    rwesthtAnilu_777Beatsgeorgie01GG1aderutterleavingthebigggregoriusmsvanstrom
  • Reply 5 of 111
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,696member
    I believe besides IOS and Android platforms; others(Microsoft XBOX,Sony PlayStation,Nintendo,etc) charges similar 30% to Epic than what seems a problem with Apple ?
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  • Reply 6 of 111
    KITAKITA Posts: 382member
    Interesting. This may impact iOS/macOS gaming even further, potentially making third party developers choose to drop support of iOS/macOS or find a new game engine.

    It told Epic that by August 28, Apple will cut off Epic’s access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple’s platforms—including for the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers, which Apple has never claimed violated any Apple policy. Not content simply to remove Fortnite from the App Store, Apple is attacking Epic’s entire business in unrelated areas. 

    If the Unreal Engine can no longer support Apple platforms, the software developers that use it will be forced to use alternatives.

    Apple would lose out on Unreal Engine 5 as well it sounds like.




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  • Reply 7 of 111
    I hope Google follows suit with developer keys as well. Google also charges 30% but of course all the focus is on Apple. Epic also forces game developers to sign exclusivity agreements so they can’t put their games on other platforms. Hypocrisy much?!
    BeatsSpamSandwichkillroyPizzakoerierjony0Dogpersondysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 111
    Interesting. This may impact iOS/macOS gaming even further, potentially making third party developers choose to drop support of iOS/macOS or find a new game engine.

    It told Epic that by August 28, Apple will cut off Epic’s access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple’s platforms—including for the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers, which Apple has never claimed violated any Apple policy. Not content simply to remove Fortnite from the App Store, Apple is attacking Epic’s entire business in unrelated areas. 

    If the Unreal Engine can no longer support Apple platforms, the software developers that use it will be forced to use alternatives.

    Apple would lose out on Unreal Engine 5 as well it sounds like.




    This is not Apple attacking all of Epic's entire business but a gross miscalculation from Epic's part. If they sell services to third parties that are based on Apple support/rules, and they decide to challenge Apple by not only breaking the rules of their developer's account, but also suing them, they are the ones that created a horrible situation for their other customers who use the Unreal Engine. It looks like Epic's CEO bravado is much better than its legal team!
    pichaeljony0Gabywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 111
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 987member
    Apple is on the wrong side of this battle. 
    cflcardsfan80rain22aaarrrgggh
  • Reply 10 of 111
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 2,095member
    KITA said:
    Interesting. This may impact iOS/macOS gaming even further, potentially making third party developers choose to drop support of iOS/macOS or find a new game engine.

    It told Epic that by August 28, Apple will cut off Epic’s access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple’s platforms—including for the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers, which Apple has never claimed violated any Apple policy. Not content simply to remove Fortnite from the App Store, Apple is attacking Epic’s entire business in unrelated areas. 

    If the Unreal Engine can no longer support Apple platforms, the software developers that use it will be forced to use alternatives.

    Apple would lose out on Unreal Engine 5 as well it sounds like.

    ...

    Although they are the owner of Unreal Engine, there are less than fifteen iOS games developed with it, according to Wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unreal_Engine_games

    A recent mainstream game for the Mac is Borderlands 3, but it requires a graphics card of 8 GB on the Mac ! What a game engine is that !

    So not many people will miss them once they are gone, and the whole affair will be forgotten in a couple of months even in the blogosphere that feeds it and life will continue as usual...
    edited August 2020 aderutterRayz2016thtjony0JapheyFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 111
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,913member
    There goes (estimated) 30% of your revenue, morons.

    Also to the morons who say "Epic doesn't need Apple and Apple is not responsible for it's success".

    Epic disagrees. From the lawsuit:

    ""The iOS userbase is enormous. There are nearly a billion iPhone users worldwide and over 1.5 billion active iOS devices, including both iPhones and iPads.

    "Typically, these users will use only iOS devices and will not also use mobile devices with a different OS. In addition to its size, the iOS user base is also uniquely valuable in that its user base spends twice as much money on apps as Android users.

    "This is consistent with Epic's experience, as the average iOS Fortnite user spends significantly more on in-app purchases than the average Android Fortnite user. iOS users are therefore a "must have" market for app developers to compete in; an app developer that chooses to develop apps for Android but not iOS forgoes the opportunity to reach over one billion high-paying app users."

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  • Reply 12 of 111
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,992member
    tyler82 said:
    Apple is on the wrong side of this battle. 
    Dropping the game, killing their developer account, and such are predictable and Apple is on very solid legal ground with those actions.
    Personally I think Apple's 30% on sales is in line with other stores. I think they will be able to defend that as well. 
    I have a problem though, with the 30% on sales that do not go through Apple's ecosystem. Epic setting up their own payment system to go directly to their servers is logical and simplifies the transaction. Other that Apple taking their cut there is no reason for aftermarket purchases to go through Apple. It's like if I decided to drive for Uber and Toyota demanded a cut of what I got. 
    Apple gets paid nicely for hosting and selling the games. the cut of aftermarket sales is hard to justify. Oh and before anyone says that all of these companies would then have their games for free on the AppStore but you'd have to pay them directly to play them, yes that would be a problem. But Apple should deal with that real problem, not pretend that they deserve a cut of each Prime Video ans Spotify stream we get. 
    rain22pichaelPascalxxaaarrrggghjcs2305
  • Reply 13 of 111
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,913member
    KITA said:
    Interesting. This may impact iOS/macOS gaming even further, potentially making third party developers choose to drop support of iOS/macOS or find a new game engine.

    It told Epic that by August 28, Apple will cut off Epic’s access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple’s platforms—including for the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers, which Apple has never claimed violated any Apple policy. Not content simply to remove Fortnite from the App Store, Apple is attacking Epic’s entire business in unrelated areas. 

    If the Unreal Engine can no longer support Apple platforms, the software developers that use it will be forced to use alternatives.

    Apple would lose out on Unreal Engine 5 as well it sounds like.





    And guess who's panicking and having regrets? Not Apple:

    "If the Unreal Engine can no longer support Apple platforms, the software developers that use it will be forced to use alternatives. The damage to Epic’s ongoing business and to its reputation and trust with its customers will be unquantifiable and irreparable."

    -Epic legal document

    Too bad they didn't think about the damage, reputation and trust affecting Apple when they pulled their dirty trick.

    THIS. Is the PERFECT opportunity for Apple to develop a massive game engine for Apple Silicon Mac/iPad/iPhone for developers and obliterate Epic out of the market. Damn I miss Steve in times like these!
    edited August 2020 macplusplusaderutterRayz2016pichaelPizzakoerierjony0JapheydysamoriaFileMakerFellerwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 111
    KITAKITA Posts: 382member
    KITA said:
    Interesting. This may impact iOS/macOS gaming even further, potentially making third party developers choose to drop support of iOS/macOS or find a new game engine.

    It told Epic that by August 28, Apple will cut off Epic’s access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple’s platforms—including for the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers, which Apple has never claimed violated any Apple policy. Not content simply to remove Fortnite from the App Store, Apple is attacking Epic’s entire business in unrelated areas. 

    If the Unreal Engine can no longer support Apple platforms, the software developers that use it will be forced to use alternatives.

    Apple would lose out on Unreal Engine 5 as well it sounds like.

    ...

    Although they are the owner of Unreal Engine, there are less than fifteen iOS games developed with it, according to Wikipedia:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Unreal_Engine_games

    A recent mainstream game for the Mac is Borderlands 3, but it requires a graphics card of 8 GB on the Mac ! What a game engine is that !

    So not many people will miss them once they are gone, and the whole affair will be forgotten in a couple of months even in the blogosphere that feeds it and life will continue as usual...
    I think that list is probably missing quite a few games. For example, this Apple Arcade game uses Unreal Engine and does not appear on that list.







    edited August 2020 GG1Dogpersonmuthuk_vanalingamsuperklotondysamoria
  • Reply 15 of 111
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 686member
    tyler82 said:
    Apple is on the wrong side of this battle. 
    I agree with you but think Epic is the wrong company to fight it was it seems they charge devs a percentage of the sales themselves. There needs to be a way to install apps on the phone / pad without going through the AppStore if you don’t want to. Those who only want to use the AppStore are free to do so but those who want to get it from another source can too much like you can with your Mac. Apple could even put up a nice little warning about the dangers of 3rd party apps etc. 
    DAalseth
  • Reply 16 of 111
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,984member
    Epic's move
  • Reply 17 of 111
    robabarobaba Posts: 226member
    Agreed, Apple needs to jump with both feet and fund game development directly.  Buy up a small 3d game developer and build them into the software equivalent of ASI.

    Epics arrogance sounds like the typical entitled elite who proudly declaring “I built this” without ever acknowledging the groundwork, infrastructure, and assistance they got on the way.  Public risk/investment, but privatized profit.
    Beatspichaelkillroyjony0Dogpersonretrogustodysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 111
    When Trump ban China/Huawei to buy US tech. They build their own OS, CPU, phone. 

    Now it is your turn to build your own OS, cpu and phone. Epic, be like China
  • Reply 19 of 111
    It’s hilarious and pathetic to see Epic complain they have to pay Apple to use their App Store and then complain they won’t have access to Apple’s freely provided development tools. Why do they think they deserve these things for free? That’s so infantile and entitled. As long as they aren’t developing their own platform and building the devices their work needs and building a huge customer base with that work, then their perspective is childish and arrogant.
    Beatspichaelkillroyteejay2012jony0Dogpersonretrogustowatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 111
      KITA said:
    Interesting. This may impact iOS/macOS gaming even further, potentially making third party developers choose to drop support of iOS/macOS or find a new game engine.

    It told Epic that by August 28, Apple will cut off Epic’s access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple’s platforms—including for the Unreal Engine Epic offers to third-party developers, which Apple has never claimed violated any Apple policy. Not content simply to remove Fortnite from the App Store, Apple is attacking Epic’s entire business in unrelated areas. 

    If the Unreal Engine can no longer support Apple platforms, the software developers that use it will be forced to use alternatives.

    Apple would lose out on Unreal Engine 5 as well it sounds like.





    ;)  https://community.khronos.org/t/implication-of-apple-patent-on-opencl/4416
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