Microsoft extends support to Epic over App Store clash

Microsoft backs Epic Games in the fight against Apple.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Microsoft is backing Epic Games in its clash with Apple after the iPhone maker withdrew Epic Games’ technology from Apple’s developer tools.

Microsoft said that Epic Games’ Unreal Engine is a critical technology for numerous game creators, including Microsoft. Denying Epic access to Apple’s development tools will prevent Epic from supporting Unreal Engine on iOS and macOS, placing game creators with Unreal Engine at a substantial disadvantage.

Unreal Engine is a graphics technology used by millions of developers to build 3-D games and other products. The same technology is used by Microsoft for creating games for consoles, PCs and mobiles; revoking Epic’s access would prevent the game developer from distributing the technology to game creators.

In a new filing, Epic Games has asked the court to stop Apple from revoking Epic’s developer tools and limiting its ability to provide key graphics technology to other apps. “The breadth of Apple’s retaliation is itself an unlawful effort to maintain its monopoly and chill any action by others who might dare oppose Apple,” Epic said in a filing.

Apple withdrawing support would impact developers who have built their games on the engine and have no interest in the case, it added.

Meanwhile, Microsoft stressed the terrible effects of revoking Epic’s access to Apple’s developer tools. Any developer using the engine would be unable to patch security flaws or fix bugs once the access was revoked, halting support for a wide range of games including Microsoft’s racing game Forza Street.

As game developers choose game engines based both on the functionality they provide as well as their ability to support development for those platforms, using different game engines for different platforms may be prohibitively expensive and difficult. Additionally, it is not as cost-effective as using a game engine that supports different platforms.

“If Unreal Engine cannot support games for iOS or macOS, Microsoft would be required to choose between abandoning its customers and potential customers on the iOS and macOS platforms or choosing a different game engine when preparing to develop new games,” Microsoft said.

The Epic-Apple fight began on August 13 when Epic Games introduced an in-app payments system for Fortnite that violated Apple’s App Store Guidelines. Apple removed Fortnite from its App Stores and announced to revoke Epic’s access to Apple’s developer tools.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 2:45:51 AM |

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