The ongoing feud between Apple and Epic recently took a dramatic turn when Apple made threats to remove the accessibility of Mac and iOS developer tools. This feud began last week when Fortnite developers, Epic Games tried to offer their v-bucks directly through the game itself. Many believe Epic’s actions weren’t unwarranted, as Apple’s monopolistic tendencies backed Epic into a corner claiming Apple puts too many restrictions on iOS developers. Not only did they Epic feel too many illegal restrictions made them, and other developers, feel as if they were being held hostage, but Apple was taking a big chunk of the earnings off their microtransactions.
Apple retaliates after Epic filed a massive antitrust lawsuit in hopes of going toe-to-toe with the giant. Apple will effectively end Epic’s participation in its Developer Program. Without inclusion into Apple’s program for developers, Epic wouldn’t have access to Apple’s development tools. Apple is hoping to leverage cutting off Epic ultimately to have them drop the suit and accepting their place on the platform.
However, Epic hasn’t let up and will continue to file for a preliminary injunction against Apple to keep the giant from cutting them off completely. Apple has not made a comment since publicly announcing Epic’s violations last week.
Unfortunately, removing Epic from the developer program will make waves far beyond Epic and Apple’s feud. Apple retaliates by threatening Epic’s access to their developer accounts by August 28th. This could set a precedence and further cement Apple’s position as a monopolistic giant in the mobile industry. Apple is coming at Epic with everything they have, and, so far, Epic is fighting back with what they can.
Big and small app developers have a stake in this battle between Epic and Apple. Not only will apps and games be affected by any changes to Unreal Engine, but tv shows like “The Mandalorian” powered by the Unreal Engine. Apple is too big and powerful, and Epic is challenging its monopolistic behavior. Unfortunately, holding Unreal Engine and other development tools hostage might be enough to make Epic stand down from its lawsuit.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the end. At least we now have a date later in August to see what Epic does. If they end up giving in, that means Apple will come out the victor and continue to take billions in fees from their app developers. If Epic wins, then we could see some far-reaching changes in the area of competition among tech giants. Only time will tell at this point.