<img src = "https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/GettyImages-957063506-800×533.jpg" alt = "A. Fourteen days Loading screen displayed on an iPhone in 2018, when Apple and Epic were not at each other's legal throats. "/>
Enlarge /. A Fortnite loading screen that appeared on an iPhone in 2018 when Apple and Epic weren't biting each other's throats.
The new legal battle between game developer Epic and iPhone maker Apple continues to intensify as Epic says Apple will cut it off the developer platform for Mac and iOS before the end of this month.
Epic wrote in a court case (PDF) that Apple will cancel its membership in the developer program on August 28th. According to Epic, Apple's move threatens not only Fortnite, but also any game that uses Unreal Engine: "Until August 28, Apple will block Epic from accessing all development tools required to create software for Apple's platforms – including offerings from Unreal Engine Epic for third-party developers Apple never claimed to have violated any Apple policy, "Epic said.
"If your membership ends, you may no longer be able to send apps to the 'App Store' and your apps that are still available for distribution will be removed," the letter said.
According to the filing, Apple announced to Epic that once the program ended, it would no longer be a long list of tools and features available, including software development kits (SDKs), application programming interfaces (APIs), and a host of other tools. Epic would also no longer be able to make technical efforts to improve the hardware and software performance of Unreal Engine on Mac and iOS hardware, to optimize Unreal Engine on Mac for creative workflows, virtual sets and their CI / Build systems as well as for taking over and supporting the implementation of ARKit functions and future VR functions in Unreal Engine from your XR team. "
Fortnite is currently available for Mac through Epic's own digital storefront, which doesn't break Apple's rules.
"The damage … will not be quantifiable and irreparable"
"This would be an existential threat to the Unreal Engine," said Epic. "The damage to Epic's ongoing business and to its reputation and trust with its customers will be unquantifiable and irreparable."
Epic on Thursday effectively got Apple to remove Fortnite from its app store by starting a new ending to Apple's rules for in-app purchases. Less than an hour after Fortnite was broken down, Epic filed a lawsuit (PDF) accusing Apple of anti-competitive behavior.
"Apple has become what it once weathered: the giant that tries to control markets, block competition and suppress innovations," claimed Epic in his lawsuit. "Apple is bigger, more powerful, stronger, and more damaging than yesterday's monopoly. With a market capitalization of nearly $ 2 trillion, Apple's size and reach far exceeds that of any technology monopoly in history."