Apple has terminated Epic Games’ App Store developer account.
It’s the latest development in the two megacorps’ public spat that ignited when Apple blocked Fortnite from the App Store after Epic Games circumvented Apple and Google’s system to retain 100% of the funds generated by its in-app microstransactions. Microsoft also filed a statement in support of Epic and Unreal Engine.
Terminating the account prevents the developer from updating its published games or submitting new ones. It comes just days after Epic snuck one sneaky update in to add the evil Tart Tycoon character seen in the game’s #FreeFortnite video.
“We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store,” Apple said in a statement to Bloomberg. “We have worked with the team at Epic Games for many years on their launches and releases.
“The court recommended that Epic comply with the App Store guidelines while their case moves forward, guidelines they’ve followed for the past decade until they created this situation. Epic has refused. Instead, they repeatedly submit Fortnite updates designed to violate the guidelines of the App Store. This is not fair to all other developers on the App Store and is putting customers in the middle of their fight.
“We hope that we can work together again in the future, but unfortunately, that is not possible today.”
Looking ahead, this means you can’t download Fortnite on any iOS device, even if you’ve downloaded it before, nor any other of Epic Games’ mobile offerings. It does not, however, affect its secondary developer account for Unreal Engine.
Fortnite is thought to have been downloaded around 160 million times via the App Store, generating $1.2 billion since it launched in 2012. According to industry analysts Sensor Tower, Apple’s cut was around $360 million (£269m).