The dispute between Epic Games and Apple over Fortnite and how apps are subjected to App Store fees has escalated to the point that Apple has now terminated Epic Games’ developer account. This means that Fortnite and any other game Epic Games has available on the App Store can no longer receive updates on that platform. This development is the latest in an ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games that had its public beginnings when a new payment method was added for mobile players that skipped Apple’s fees.
Apple’s decision to terminate the developer account of Epic Games is one that’s been threatened in the past. In a statement obtained by Mac Rumors, Apple said it was “disappointed” that it had to terminate the account and Epic Games’ submitted Fortnite updates continually violated the App Store guidelines.
“We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store,” Apple said. “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.”
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney who’s been vocal about the legal proceedings throughout contradicted Apple’s statement by saying the company didn’t have to remove Epic Games’ account and that it instead chose to. Sweeney shared a note which he said was attached to Fortnite updates as they were submitted for consideration.
Apple's statement isn't forthright. They chose to terminate Epic's account; they didn't *have* to.
Apple suggests we spammed the App Store review process. That's not so. Epic submitted three Fortnite builds: two bug-fix updates, and the Season 4 update with this note. pic.twitter.com/VpWEERDp5L— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 28, 2020
A judge previously upheld Apple’s decision to remove Fortnite from the App Store, though the decision also saved the Unreal Engine from being affected by the legal proceedings since inhibiting its use in the App Store would impact many other games and apps.