Early this month, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store due to non-compliance of its policies with regards to payments. Google too followed the Cupertino giant and removed the app from the Play Store. Epic then sued Apple and Google for the move, calling out their policies. A few days after removing the game from its store, Apple also reportedly threatened to terminate all of Epic’s iOS and macOS developer accounts, including cutting access to the Unreal Engine for other developers.
However, the courts put a restraining order on Apple, stopping it from terminating licenses for Epic’s Unreal Engine. As promised, the iPhone company today has terminated Epic Game’s developer account, which does not include the Unreal Engine, complying with the court orders. The termination of the account means that other games and apps from Epic, including Battle Breakers and the Infinity Blade apps have also been removed from the App Store.
Apple said in a statement:
We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store. We have worked with the team at Epic Games for many years on their launches and releases,” Apple said. “The court recommended that Epic comply with the App Store guidelines while their case moves forward, guidelines they’ve followed for the past decade until they created this situation. Epic has refused. Instead they repeatedly submit Fortnite updates designed to violate the guidelines of the App Store. This is not fair to all other developers on the App Store and is putting customers in the middle of their fight. We hope that we can work together again in the future, but unfortunately that is not possible today.
The termination means that Epic can no longer submit updates for any of its apps to the App Store. Therefore, users that already have games like Fortnite installed cannot receive the new season that launched yesterday. Users can also no longer make in-app purchases. Just a few hours before the termination, the Cupertino firm today highlighted an update coming to Fortnite alternative, PUBG.
Apple is currently being criticized by more developers due to its App Store policies. It also reportedly favored other companies with regards to the policies. It will be interesting to see how the court battle between the company and Epic pans out, which will also govern what the future of these policies look like.