For Tim Sweeney and the rest of Epic Games, the time to pay the piper dawned on the weekend. Would Epic Games remove the option to bypass the App Store’s payment mechanism or would it continue to try and punch up.
Sorry for the spoilers but it’s the latter.
At the weekend Apple terminated Epic Games’ developer account which is used to publish and update its App Store apps. This means that if you hadn’t downloaded Battle Breakers or Fortnite before 28th August both of those game are gone.
Mind you, so long as the apps are installed on your iPhone you’ll be able to use them but updates won’t be coming down the line.
While this doesn’t seem like all that big of a deal, in a live-services game such as Fortnite which just launched its Marvel-themed crossover event, no updates mean you miss out on content.
“We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store. 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,” Apple wrote in a statement addressing the developer account termination.
“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,” the Cupertino tech firm added.
Following the release of this statement Epic Game chief executive officer, Tim Sweeney, had the following to say on Twitter.
“Apple’s statement isn’t forthright. They chose to terminate Epic’s account; they didn’t *have* to,” the CEO said.
“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.”
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
Oh, Apple didn’t have to remove the developer account? Interesting. So Epic Games’ terms of service where account termination is cited as a means to deal with scammers, thieves and sundry, are those just suggestions then Mr Sweeney?
Do you see how your argument starts to unravel when you pluck at the fibres?
Of course, we aren’t siding with Apple here either. The 30 percent Apple Tax isn’t something we’re fans of. Hell, even Facebook looked like a good guy last week when it highlighted the fact that Apple is taking a 30 percent cut off of sales of tickets to online events held by small businesses.
The good news is that following a court ruling last week, Epic Games’ Epic International account – which handles updates for the Unreal Engine – is unaffected by this termination. The only reason for this is because a judge barred Apple from terminating that account.
What will Epic’s next move be? It’s hard to say but the firm seems fixated on the idea of beating Apple. Our big question however is what will break first?
Tim Sweeney’s resolve or the effect on Epic Games’ bottom line with it being unavailable on the App Store.