'Verifiably untrustworthy' Epic Games iOS app store plans in EU killed by Apple

Posted:
in iPhone edited March 6

The Epic vs. Apple bad blood continues, as Apple has called Epic 'verifiably untrustworthy' and shut down the developer account it made to develop a 3rd-party app store in the European Union.

Still from the Epic Games-produced ad criticizing Apple for being like the book '1984'
Still from the Epic Games-produced ad criticizing Apple for being like the book '1984'



The latest chapter of the fight between Epic and Apple has been detailed by the former in a blog post on Wednesday. In it, the company says that Apple has killed a new developer account that it spun up to make an iOS App Store, preventing Epic from developing what it calls the biggest threat to Apple's dominance.

A series of emails between Apple's Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, Epic's Game Store manager Steve Allison, and Epic's CEO Tim Sweeney are at the heart of Epic's post on Wednesday. In them, Schiller asks Sweeney why Apple should trust Epic this time.

Sweeney's response was apparently insufficient. It's unclear if the executives had further discussion beyond what Epic included in the post.

However, an included response to Epic by Apple's attorneys clearly shows why Apple says Epic isn't being allowed to develop an App Store.

"Apple recently reached out directly to Mr. Sweeney to give him an opportunity to explain why Apple should trust Epic this time and allow Epic Games Sweden AB to become an active developer. Mr. Sweeney's response to that request was wholly insufficient and not credible. It boiled down to an unsupported 'trust us.' History shows, however, that Epic is verifiably untrustworthy, hence the request for meaningful commitments."



A later statement from Apple further spells it out.

"Epic's egregious breach of its contractual obligations to Apple led courts to determine that Apple has the right to terminate 'any or all of Epic Games' wholly owned subsidiaries, affiliates, and/or other entities under Epic Games' control at any time and at Apple's sole discretion,'" Apple said in a statement to AppleInsider. "In light of Epic's past and ongoing behavior, Apple chose to exercise that right."

Epic says that this move is in retaliation for Epic CEO Tim Sweeney's remarks about Apple's compliance with the EU Digital Markets Act. Sweeney noted that Apple's opening up to third-party app stores was "more hot garbage," and a "new horror show." He also called out the company for its "devious new instance of Malicious Compliance."

Wednesday's post also spells out what Epic has done, and continues to do, on Apple platforms, predominantly related to the Unreal Engine on iOS, macOS, and coming to visionOS.

It's unclear if Epic will provide Apple with the details it is asking for regarding why the game maker should be trusted. This matter, and Apple's Digital Markets Act compliance as a whole, are likely to see legal action.

Apple canceled the Epic Games developer account in August 2020, after the gaming firm violated App Store agreements in what turned out to be the start of a years-old legal battle. Apple wanted to remove all of Epic's developer accounts, but a judge insisted that removing its Unreal Engine account would have harmful effects on its countless users.

Epic had asked Apple to allow it a developer account when it wanted to sell apps in Korea. Apple refused. The company said that it would only allow Epic Games back when it "agree[s] to play by the same rules as everyone else."

Then while Epic Games its legal case against Apple, the EU introduced the Digital Markets Act. As a consequence, Apple has had to allow for alternative app stores within the region.

Epic announced its intention to open a third-party App Store almost immediately, and had a developer account to do so -- until Apple killed it.



Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 70
    xyzzy-xxxxyzzy-xxx Posts: 185member
    I believe the kill of Epics developer account will not stay for long...
    byronlcaladanianmuthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonelijahgbala1234
  • Reply 2 of 70
    caladaniancaladanian Posts: 380member
    What has trust to do with it? Either you follow the rules within the laws or not. You can’t distrust preventively without them making a mistake with their new developer account – after all I can understand. 
    muthuk_vanalingamwilliamlondonelijahgxyzzy-xxx
  • Reply 3 of 70
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,206member
    To reap the profits it wants, Epic needs to be able to bilk users in the heat of gameplay.
    williamlondon9secondkox2killroypscooter63watto_cobraBart Yjas99magman1979teejay2012
  • Reply 4 of 70
    by "latter," I think you mean "former."

    Unless Apple wrote a guest blog on Epic's site.
    edited March 6 avon b7williamlondonJapheyzenwaveswatto_cobramagman1979
  • Reply 5 of 70
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,766member
    This doesn't look good for Apple on the face of it.

    Apple has the last word on 'trust'?

    I can't see that going down well in the EU. 

    I suppose Epic will accuse Apple of discrimination. 

    We'll see. 

    muthuk_vanalingamlam921039secondkox2killroyelijahgxyzzy-xxx
  • Reply 6 of 70
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,045member
    avon b7 said:
    This doesn't look good for Apple on the face of it.

    Apple has the last word on 'trust'?

    I can't see that going down well in the EU. 

    I suppose Epic will accuse Apple of discrimination. 

    We'll see. 

    If the iOS platform is to maintain integrity, yes. Epic has a solid history of bad credit. If the EU's intent is to strip Apple of all control of its own platform and to force them to let thieves and child predators set up shop there, then it may come to a point where Apple would be better off withdrawing from that market, and EU can make its own phones. 
    tmayjas99williamlondon9secondkox2killroyolsmobirdpscooter63spock1234watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 70
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,376member
    avon b7 said:
    This doesn't look good for Apple on the face of it.

    Apple has the last word on 'trust'?

    I can't see that going down well in the EU. 

    I suppose Epic will accuse Apple of discrimination. 

    We'll see. 

    Does Epic has any "trust" left at all? Maybe the EU can guarantee to Apple that Apple will be fully supported by the EU, if Epic "breaks that trust".

    Oh, never mind.

    https://theconversation.com/ukraine-got-a-signed-commitment-in-1994-to-ensure-its-security-but-can-the-us-and-allies-stop-putins-aggression-now-173481

    Just words on a piece of paper, or worse, words in a cloud.
    williamlondon9secondkox2killroyspock1234watto_cobraBart Yelijahgmagman1979
  • Reply 8 of 70
    AppleZulu said:
    If the iOS platform is to maintain integrity, yes. Epic has a solid history of bad credit. If the EU's intent is to strip Apple of all control of its own platform and to force them to let thieves and child predators set up shop there, then it may come to a point where Apple would be better off withdrawing from that market, and EU can make its own phones. 
    You’re a brainwashed zombie.
    Ditto, buddy. Ditto. This is the way the world works.

    AppleZulu made a relevant point. People and companies with a history of breaking contracts and other malfeasance should be penalized. Far too often high net worth individuals and critical businesses get to skirt this. Sweeney and Epic have earned the extra scrutiny and need for contractual reassurances to use the IP that belongs to others (and not to the purchaser of a finished product).

    I shouldn’t have to spell that out. But your ad hominem made it kind of necessary.
    edited March 6 AppleZuluwilliamlondon9secondkox2killroyhlee1169olsmobirdpscooter63watto_cobraradarthekat
  • Reply 9 of 70
    darelrexdarelrex Posts: 138member
    What has trust to do with it? Either you follow the rules within the laws or not. You can’t distrust preventively without them making a mistake with their new developer account – after all I can understand. 
    Epic Games blatantly violated its existing and agree-to contractual terms on 2020-08-13, against both Apple and also Google. That pretty much ruins their trustworthiness, right there. Getting a new developer account doesn't magically reset Sweeney's trustworthiness.
    kiltedgreenauxiowilliamlondonred oak9secondkox2rorschachaikillroyhlee1169rob53mobird
  • Reply 10 of 70
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,737member
    darelrex said:
    What has trust to do with it? Either you follow the rules within the laws or not. You can’t distrust preventively without them making a mistake with their new developer account – after all I can understand. 
    Epic Games blatantly violated its existing and agree-to contractual terms on 2020-08-13, against both Apple and also Google. That pretty much ruins their trustworthiness, right there. Getting a new developer account doesn't magically reset Sweeney's trustworthiness.
    Was just about to post the same. People seem to have the memory of a hamster these days.
    darelrexwilliamlondon9secondkox2killroyhlee1169pscooter63watto_cobraBart Yjas99magman1979
  • Reply 11 of 70
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,766member
    tmay said:
    avon b7 said:
    This doesn't look good for Apple on the face of it.

    Apple has the last word on 'trust'?

    I can't see that going down well in the EU. 

    I suppose Epic will accuse Apple of discrimination. 

    We'll see. 

    Does Epic has any "trust" left at all? Maybe the EU can guarantee to Apple that Apple will be fully supported by the EU, if Epic "breaks that trust".

    Oh, never mind.

    https://theconversation.com/ukraine-got-a-signed-commitment-in-1994-to-ensure-its-security-but-can-the-us-and-allies-stop-putins-aggression-now-173481

    Just words on a piece of paper, or worse, words in a cloud.
    The amount of trust is irrelevant. The question is if Apple has the last word here because Epic could well try to throw a discrimination card into the soup.

    Is this, for example, the same as the right of admission to a bar? 
    9secondkox2radarthekatelijahg
  • Reply 12 of 70
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,045member
    AppleZulu said:
    If the iOS platform is to maintain integrity, yes. Epic has a solid history of bad credit. If the EU's intent is to strip Apple of all control of its own platform and to force them to let thieves and child predators set up shop there, then it may come to a point where Apple would be better off withdrawing from that market, and EU can make its own phones. 
    You’re a brainwashed zombie.
    It's really not that difficult. Either the smartphone platform is designed and controlled by its creator, or it's a generic utility controlled by the government. If it's the former, then Apple gets the last word on trust for who can operate on that platform. If it's the latter, then EU is responsible for trust and policing who has it and can operate on the platform. If it's the latter, then Apple's incentive to provide that utility platform is significantly diminished, as they would no longer have the ability to assure security and privacy standards for their own customers. As that ability is at the core of Apple's business model and distinguishes iPhone from all other brands, loss of that control would be reason to withdraw from that market and let someone else make unsecured, generic phone widgets. 
    williamlondonkillroyhlee1169watto_cobraradarthekatBart Yjas99
  • Reply 13 of 70
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,784member
    avon b7 said:
    This doesn't look good for Apple on the face of it.

    Apple has the last word on 'trust'?

    I can't see that going down well in the EU. 

    I suppose Epic will accuse Apple of discrimination. 

    We'll see. 

    Previous judgements disagree with you. Apple indeed has “sole discretion.” 

    It’s not like epic didn’t breach the contract. End of.

    epic going on to criticize apple is a smokescreen. Being critical doesn’t award you what you lost due to illegal activity. 

    Epic violated their contract and paid the price. Inciting a mob doesn’t change that. Epic can be mad, but only at themselves. Shameful really. 

    Goodbye epic. Good luck on your own.  
    edited March 6 tmaykillroyhlee1169pscooter63watto_cobraradarthekatBart Yjas99
  • Reply 14 of 70
    hmlongcohmlongco Posts: 543member
    If Microsoft can buy Blizzard/Activision then Apple should just buy Epic.

    Not only could Apple then bring. the Unreal Engine (and games) to the Mac, but it could also use Epic's "MetaHuman" technology to fix the god-awful Vision Pro avatars....
    killroywatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 70
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 7,766member
    avon b7 said:
    This doesn't look good for Apple on the face of it.

    Apple has the last word on 'trust'?

    I can't see that going down well in the EU. 

    I suppose Epic will accuse Apple of discrimination. 

    We'll see. 

    Previous judgements disagree with you. Apple indeed has “sole discretion.” 

    It’s not like epic didn’t breach the contract. End of.

    epic going on to criticize apple is a smokescreen. Being critical doesn’t award you what you lost due to illegal activity. 

    Epic violated their contract and paid the price. Inciting a mob doesn’t change that. Epic can be mad, but only at themselves. Shameful really. 

    Goodbye epic. Good luck on your own.  
    We'll see. 

    If Epic brought the same case to an EU court there is no guarantee it would see the same result. 

    As for violating a contract clause, that doesn't mean much. The presence of a clause doesn't make it legal. A clause itself can be challenged in court.

    Like I said, we'll see.

    I suppose Epic will try to challenge the move. 
    9secondkox2elijahgxyzzy-xxx
  • Reply 16 of 70
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,376member
    avon b7 said:
    avon b7 said:
    This doesn't look good for Apple on the face of it.

    Apple has the last word on 'trust'?

    I can't see that going down well in the EU. 

    I suppose Epic will accuse Apple of discrimination. 

    We'll see. 

    Previous judgements disagree with you. Apple indeed has “sole discretion.” 

    It’s not like epic didn’t breach the contract. End of.

    epic going on to criticize apple is a smokescreen. Being critical doesn’t award you what you lost due to illegal activity. 

    Epic violated their contract and paid the price. Inciting a mob doesn’t change that. Epic can be mad, but only at themselves. Shameful really. 

    Goodbye epic. Good luck on your own.  
    We'll see. 

    If Epic brought the same case to an EU court there is no guarantee it would see the same result. 

    As for violating a contract clause, that doesn't mean much. The presence of a clause doesn't make it legal. A clause itself can be challenged in court.

    Like I said, we'll see.

    I suppose Epic will try to challenge the move. 
    You failed to mention that Epic violated the contract terms, and Apple responded to that as they were entitled to by contract law. Had Epic taken the case to court initially, and challenged to validity of the contract terms, Epic may have been able to win on the merits, but it would have taken time. For a fact, Epic didn't want to do that, and was arguably attempting to achieve status within the gaming community from the challenge to Apple. https://thenextweb.com/news/epic-apple-app-store-appeal-analysis Your supposition that Epic is the good guy in this fails on the merits. Epic is notable for screwing its customers and developers, and is a cesspool of cheating scandals.
    mailmeoffers9secondkox2killroyhlee1169spock1234watto_cobraradarthekatBart Yaltrd_siliconelijahg
  • Reply 17 of 70
    Why does Apple assume they have monopoly on security? It is a rather faulty assumption that none else can make a secure or even more secure App Store. 

    DMA will overrule this and allow fair competition on the platform. 
    9secondkox2CheeseFreezemuthuk_vanalingamxyzzy-xxx
  • Reply 18 of 70
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,376member
    jmaximus said:
    Why does Apple assume they have monopoly on security? It is a rather faulty assumption that none else can make a secure or even more secure App Store. 

    DMA will overrule this and allow fair competition on the platform. 
    Please note some examples in the Android OS world, and what friction for the customer those entail.
    williamlondonspock1234watto_cobraBart Yjas99
  • Reply 19 of 70
    jayweissjayweiss Posts: 69member
    The iOS market for Epic only represented 7% of their revenue. They did not care about their Fortnite iOS users at all when they violated the contract terms. Their pre-planned media blitz including the video they posted the minute Apple pulled their account shows they didn’t and don’t care about their customers. 
    sdw2001mailmeofferstmaykillroyhlee1169williamlondonpscooter63spock1234watto_cobraBart Y
  • Reply 20 of 70
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,019member
    What has trust to do with it? Either you follow the rules within the laws or not. You can’t distrust preventively without them making a mistake with their new developer account – after all I can understand. 
    Sure they can. They just did.
    mailmeoffers9secondkox2killroyigorskyspock1234watto_cobraBart Yjas99
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