Microsoft is supporting Epic Games in the ongoing dispute with Apple over terminating Epic’s developer account. It said the move will put game developers building on Epic’s Unreal Engine at a “substantial disadvantage.”
After Epic’s Fortnite violated Apple’s polices, Fortnite was removed from the App Store. Apple then warned Epic that its developer account would be terminated if the game didn’t follow App Store policies, asking to resubmit Fortnite without the direct payment option. All these events occurred after Epic retaliated Fortnite’s removal, which Apple says is entirely Epic’s own fault, with a pre-calculated antitrust lawsuit against Apple.
In a legal declaration, Kevin Gammill from Microsoft’s gaming division mentioned, “Denying Epic access to Apple’s SDK and other development tools will prevent Epic from supporting Unreal Engine on iOS and macOS, and will place Unreal Engine and those game creators that have built, are building, and may build games on it at a substantial disadvantage.” He also cited Microsoft’s Forza Street racing game for iOS as an example. Gammill oversees Microsoft’s support for game developers within the Xbox ecosystem.
If Epic is entirely out of Apple Developer Program, then it will not just affect Fortnite, but also its popular Unreal Engine for iOS and macOS, which is used by thousands of developers to build games. Even though there are other game engines, it would be troublesome and expensive to switch. A court hearing on Epic’s request to put Fortnite back on the App Store is scheduled for Monday at 3:00 PM Pacific Time.