Epic: Apple threatens to terminate our dev accounts and that affects the Unreal Engine

Epic Games is trying in court to prevent Apple from terminating its developer accounts on August 28. According to Epic, the company suffers irreparable damage and the Unreal Engine is also affected by the counter-action.

Epic reports that Apple has notified the company that its developer accounts will be deleted on August 28 and that Epic will no longer have access to the development tools for iOS and macOS. Epic Games tries to prevent this, in its words, ‘retaliation’ by going to court.

In doing so, the game company argues that it will be irreparably damaged by the measure. “Apple is not satisfied with simply removing Fortnite from the App Store and is attacking Epic’s entire company in areas unrelated to it,” Epic said in its preliminary injunction proposal. “If the Unreal Engine no longer supports Apple platforms, software developers will be forced to use alternatives.”

According to Epic, the damage to its business, its reputation and its trust with customers will be immeasurable and irreparable. A preliminary injunction by the judge urgently blocking Apple’s measure would therefore be necessary to prevent “Apple from repressing Epic before the case ever reaches a judgment.”

With this, Epic Games refers to the initial case that is the cause of the conflict. The company last week provided Fortnite with its own in-app payment system to bypass Apple’s mandatory mechanism for doing so. Because Epic was in violation of the App Store terms and conditions in doing so, Apple removed Fortnite from its software store. Epic claims Apple has a monopoly position on the App Store, which the company is abusing to stifle competition and collect an ‘exorbitant’ app tax of 30 percent on in-app payment revenue.

According to Apple, Epic must simply abide by the terms it agreed to, and there is no reason to make an exception for the game company. In a statement the company sent to The Verge, Apple said it would like to keep Epic as part of the Apple Developer Program and that Epic can easily fix the problem it created for itself by bringing Fortnite back into line with the terms. “We are not making an exception for Epic because we believe it is not right to prioritize their business purposes over the guidelines that protect our customers.”

Epic now further cites that Apple CEO Tim Cook declared to Congress two weeks ago that Apple does not retaliate against developers who express their frustration with the App Store. “Apple is now doing just that,” said Epic.