Legal

Apple's Fortnite Fight Hurts All Gaming Business, Microsoft Says

Microsoft

Microsoft is stepping into the fray of the legal battle between Apple and Epic Games over the banning of the Fortnite app from the App Store and the banning of Epic's account, CNBC reported.

Kevin Gammill, Microsoft’s general manager for Gaming Developer Experiences, said the banning of Epic Games sets a bad precedent because it makes Microsoft and others unable to use Epic's Unreal Engine. The Unreal Engine is a widely used set of technologies that allows for 3D graphics to be completed, and Epic licenses it to companies for a fee.

Gammill said the loss of the Unreal Engine means developers "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," CNBC reported.

Gammill said there are very few other applications with the same features and level of functionality as Unreal Engine, and that the crackdown by Apple would harm gamers and game makers, according to CNBC.

The problems with Apple started when Epic Games instituted a new payment method on its Fortnite app that allowed customers to pay directly on the app, which Apple took as a way to get around the terms for the App Store. So, the Fortnite app was removed from the App Store. Epic responded with a lawsuit, and Apple retorted by saying Epic's entire account would be removed from the App Store as early as the end of this week.

Nicholas Penwarden, Epic's vice president of Engineering, said the company had received “numerous inquiries and expressions of concern” about the prospect of losing the Unreal Engine from various sources that use it.

But Apple, so far, is remaining steadfast. The company said that it believes Epic's games shouldn't return to the App Store while the legal battle is underway. Apple contests that Epic's violations of its rules make the removal justified.

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