As confirmed by Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman – via Twitter – the account removal will effectively prevent Epic from adding apps or updates to games on the App Store. The American firm had already confirmed that iOS users would not get access to the next season of Fortnite.
"We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the App Store. 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," said Apple.
"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."
Following Apple's statement, as reported by 9to5Mac, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney took issue with what the tech giant claimed. The executive pointed out that Apple didn't have to remove its developer accounts, rather the tech giant chose to.
Apple's statement isn't forthright. They chose to terminate Epic's account; they didn't *have* to.— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 28, 2020
Apple suggests we spammed the App Store review process. That's not so. Epic submitted three Fortnite builds: two bug-fix updates, and the Season 4 update with this note. pic.twitter.com/VpWEERDp5L
One bad Apple
The bitterness between the companies continues to grow, having all started when Epic chose to add a new payment option for Fortnite players, which prevented Apple from taking its 30 per cent commission. A move with costly consequences, as the battle royale was booted from the App Store.
Since then, the iOS creator has claimed that Epic deliberately chose to "cheat" the company after it was denied a special deal. However, those claims were disproved by Sweeney, as the exec released his email correspondence with Apple, clearly showing that he asked all iOS developers to receive the same treatment should change be possible.
Although Apple has taken action, choosing to remove Epic's developer account, the games giant's Unreal Engine remains available to iOS developers after a judge granted the firm a temporary restraining order.