Apple terminates Epic Games developer account calling it a ‘threat’ to the iOS ecosystem

Apple terminates Epic Games developer account calling it a ‘threat’ to the iOS ecosystem

The ongoing dispute between Apple and Epic Games has escalated with Apple’s termination of Epic’s developer account, marking a significant turn in their legal saga. Epic Games, the developer behind Fortnite, revealed that Apple has revoked its developer account, contradicting its earlier approval last month. This reversal comes as a blow to Epic’s efforts to reintroduce Fortnite to iOS devices in the EU under the Digital Markets Act (DMA).

Epic Games characterized Apple’s move as a severe violation of the DMA, alleging that it undermines competition on iOS devices. Epic contends that Apple’s decision is retaliatory, citing criticism of Apple’s DMA rules by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney as one of the reasons provided by Apple. The animosity between the two companies has been evident, with Epic taking Apple to court over antitrust concerns and advocating for regulatory measures to curb Apple’s dominance in the app economy.

Despite publicly sharing its intentions and assuring Apple of compliance with its developer agreements, Epic claims that Apple terminated its developer account as a form of retaliation. Apple’s executive, Phil Schiller, highlighted Epic’s past breaches of agreements and colorful criticism of Apple’s practices as grounds for suspicion. Schiller’s letter to Epic questions the company’s intent to adhere to rules and expresses concern about potential threats to the iOS platform’s integrity and user security.

Epic emphasized its longstanding contractual relationships with Apple, dating back to 2010, covering Epic’s Games, Unreal Engine, and creator tools. However, Apple justified its action by citing Epic’s breach of contractual obligations and the court ruling in September 2021, which granted Apple the right to terminate Epic’s subsidiaries’ accounts. Apple clarified that Epic Games Sweden entered into the Developer Program License Agreement without executive review at the time.

The termination of Epic’s developer account underscores the deepening rift between the two tech giants, reflecting their ongoing legal and ideological clashes over market dominance and fair competition in the digital ecosystem.