Microsoft supports Epic’s request to continue maintaining Unreal Engine on iOS

Microsoft has expressed support for Epic’s request to the courts to keep access to Apple’s development tools so that it can continue to maintain the Unreal Engine on iOS and macOS. The fact that Epic retains that access is good for game developers and gamers, according to Microsoft.

With its statement, Microsoft supports Epic’s request for a preliminary injunction to prevent Apple from terminating Epic’s iOS and macOS developer accounts on August 28. Kevin Gammill, general manager of Microsoft’s Gaming Developer Experiences, says gamers and developers will suffer if the Unreal Engine on iOS and macOS stops getting updates.

According to Gammill, there are few alternatives to the Unreal Engine with so much functionality and mainly small and independent developers depend on the engine. He emphasizes that Microsoft itself has also licensed the use of the Unreal Engine for a number of years and that the company has, among other things, made the racing game Forza Street for iOS on the engine.

“If the Unreal Engine cannot support games on iOS or macOS, Microsoft will be required to choose between leaving its customers and prospects on iOS and macOS, and moving to a different engine when developing new games,” said the explanation.

The fact that Epic is in danger of losing access to the Apple SDK and other development tools is a result of a conflict between Epic and Apple. Epic 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 the App Store and notified Epic that it would lose its developer status.

Apple is asking the judge to dismiss the request for a preliminary injunction. According to the company, Epic wanted a special status in its software store with Fortnite and has tricked Apple into building its own payment system on the terms. Epic would have created a ‘false emergency’ itself. According to The Verge, Apple has published emails from Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, showing that the CEO had asked Apple months ago to allow Fortnite to have its own payment system. He also suggested that other iOS developers should be given this option. As a result, customers would pay less and developers would earn more, according to Sweeney.