Microsoft says that what Apple is doing threatens the overall game development.
Epic Games and Apple are fighting a legal battle. And Microsoft wants to be part of it. When Apple removed Epic Games’ Fortnite from App Store, the latter filed a suit against the iPhone maker. Apple later answered the suit stating that Epic Games wanted a special deal with the company.
Fortnite’s developer sought other app developers’ support. And it found one through Microsoft. The Xbox maker responded by filing a statement with the US District Court in Oakland, California. In the statement, Microsoft claimed that the move to cut off Epic Games threatens a huge community of creators with no connection to the litigation.
According to Microsoft:
“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.”
Epic Games’ Unreal Engine
Microsoft stated that the Unreal Engine of Epic Games is a vital technology for many game creators, and that includes Microsoft.
Large game creators develop their own game engines. But those small creators are using game engines built by third parties to save development costs and use technologies that already exist.
Unreal Engine of Epic is a third-party game engine that has become popular among game creators. Microsoft said that creators have other options. But only a few of them have as many features and functionality as Unreal Engine.
Epic’s Unreal is a set of software tools that creators are using to build their video games. If Apple will stop Unreal Engine’s ability to support iOS, it will be a huge disadvantage to the other game creators.
Microsoft has a multi-year Unreal Engine License agreement. It has also invested resources to customize Unreal Engine for its own games on Xbox consoles, PC, etc.
The statement also added that “Apple’s removal of Unreal Engine’s ability to develop updates and improvements for iOS and macOS could also harm already-launched iOS and macOS games built on Unreal Engine.”
That is if the game engine can’t develop updates that use the new iOS and macOS features, fix bugs, and patch security flaws, Microsoft believes that it will negatively affect games that are launched on iOS and macOS. Eventually, it will harm all gamers.
It’s not just Apple that removed Fortnite from its App Store. Google, too, expelled Fortnite from Play Store. These two companies stated that they eliminated Fornite because Epic violated their store policies.
Epic has become tired of Apple’s 30% cut on micro-purchases. That’s why it introduced discounted V-Bucks to those who wish to spend their money inside Fortnite.
Microsoft steps in the battle because its Forza Street will be affected as it’s built on a modified version of Unreal. After Apple cut Epic off, Epic can no longer update Unreal Engine. It puts Forza Street at risk.
Microsoft is right, though. If Apple permanently removes Epic out of the App Store, it can definitely put a risk to the entire gaming industry.