Apple blocks Fortnite maker Epic Games from game developer tools

Anthony Cuthbertson
Friday 28 August 2020 22:53 BST
Listings for pre-owned iPhones with Fortnite installed range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars
Listings for pre-owned iPhones with Fortnite installed range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars (Screenshot/ eBay)

Apple has blocked Fortnite developer Epic Games from accessing its developer tools amid an ongoing legal battle between the two firms.

The move means anyone with an iPhone or iPad will no longer be able to download the hugely popular game with immediate effect.

"We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store," Apple said in a statement.

"We have worked with the team at Epic Games for many years on their launches and releases. 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."

Apple's decision also means that other Epic games like Infinity Blade will also be unavailable for iPhone and iPad users.

The legal battle revolves around Epic's attempt to circumvent Apple's in-app purchase feature, which put it in contravention of the App Store rules.

Apple initially removed Fortnite from its App Store but anyone who had previously downloaded it could still re-download it.

This is no longer possible and the legal battle between the two firms is likely to continue, with Epic Games applying for an injunction to stop the ban.

“The cascading effect of losing ongoing Unreal Engine compatibility will threaten the viability of the engine and disrupt development of a constellation of apps and uses that rely on its graphics to render hundreds of video games, the human brain, Baby Yoda and space flight," the filing stated.

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