Friday, September 10, 2021

Epic Wants Its Developer Account Back

Jay Peters (Fortnite, Hacker News):

Epic Games has asked Apple to reinstate its Fortnite developer account so it can release the game in South Korea, following the passage of a bill that will force Apple and Google to let apps use alternative payment systems.

Steve Troughton-Smith:

Of note, Epic’s preliminary injunction (to keep the Epic dev account & ability to use Xcode, build, sign, and distribute Unreal Engine for Apple’s platforms) is terminated.

I’m not sure what happens here; if Apple is vindictive, Epic may be forced to drop support for iOS & macOS

Juli Clover:

Apple is under no obligation to allow Fortnite back into the App Store, and further, the injunction preventing Apple from banning the Unreal Engine developer account has ended. Apple is well within its rights to remove Epic’s access for Unreal Engine development and distribution.

Juli Clover:

In a statement to MacRumors, Apple said there is no basis for the reinstatement of the Epic Games developer account.

As we’ve said all along, we would welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agree to play by the same rules as everyone else. Epic has admitted to breach of contract and as of now, there’s no legitimate basis for the reinstatement of their developer account.

Apple says that to be added back to the App Store, Epic Games would need to comply with all of Apple’s App Store review guidelines, which the company has thus far declined to do.

With no developer account, Epic can’t submit to the App Store, so how can Apple tell whether or not the app now complies with the guidelines?


Update (2021-09-14): Tim Sweeney:

Like Apple’s attempt to retaliate against all Unreal Engine customers, their refusal to restore Epic’s Fortnite developer account is vindicative and nonsensical. We’re fighting Apple over their iOS terms, but this ban blocks Fortnite from Mac too. Nobody’s arguing about Mac.

Sam Byford:

The South Korean legislation has not yet gone into effect, but if and when it does, according to Apple, that wouldn’t have any bearing on the company’s process for approving developer accounts. Until Epic agrees to comply with the App Store’s app review guidelines, Apple isn’t going to consider its request.

Has Epic really not agreed to do that?

Colin Cornaby:

So there’s a question of Apple restoring Epic’s account.

But couldn’t Epic open a new account either for themselves or through a proxy publisher?

Like if Epic decided to publish Fortnight through EA or something could Apple stop that?

6 Comments RSS · Twitter

There’s this thing called email….

> With no developer account, Epic can’t submit to the App Store, so how can Apple tell whether or not the app now complies with the guidelines?

I'm not rooting for either side here, but this isn’t the Catch-22 you think it is. Apple is saying that Epic hasn’t promised not to simply do the same thing again. Would be a waste of their time to let Epic back in if the whole thing is just going to happen the same way all over again.

More Apple Lock-in:

Unreal Engine would be a fantastic engine for the metaverse and/or augmented reality. So programmers would probably prefer to use it. However Epic does not make hardware and Apple's AR glasses will probably be the best substrate for AR. If Unreal Engine were available for iOS/Mac then the "experiences" built for Apple's AR glasses would probably be built on Unreal Engine. Epic could then work with other makers of AR hardware to make Unreal Engine and its experiences available. But if Apple can ban Unreal Engine, then it guarantees experiences are targeted at their APIs, and thus creates a barrier to entry to other AR hardware manufacturers. Just like Metal, instead of CUDA or OpenCL. This judgement will allow Apple to create even more of a monopoly. A bad outcome in my book.

Really wish Apple could block Unreal Dev Tools and all Unreal Based Games. That would truly be EPIC.

> With no developer account, Epic can’t submit to the App Store,
> so how can Apple tell whether or not the app now complies with the guidelines?

Yes well, they should have realised that in the first place. Don't blame Apple for the epic stupidity of Epic. Excellent chance by the way for other game studios to enter that market.

@ruurd Apple has been saying all along that they would welcome Epic back, yet they’re the ones that seem to be standing in the way. It sounds like Epic is willing to sign the agreement. Apple won’t let them, but is trying to mislead everyone about that.

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