Microsoft signals support for Epic Games in Apple lawsuit

“Ensuring that Epic has access to the latest Apple technology is the right thing”

Microsoft has backed Epic Games in the Fortnite developer’s ongoing legal battle against Apple.

On Sunday (August 23), the tech giant filed a statement in support of Epic Games’ injunction against Apple’s retaliatory move to cut the developer from its Developer Program. Microsoft claims that the removal of Epic Games from the program would threaten a sizable number of developers that use the Unreal Engine.

“Denying Epic access to Apple’s SDK and other development tools will prevent Epic from supporting Unreal Engine on iOS and macOS, and will place Unreal Engine and those game creators that have built, are building and may build games on it at a substantial disadvantage,” said the statement from Kevin Gammill, the general manager of gaming developer experiences for Microsoft.

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Epic Games' Fortnite
Fortnite. Credit: Epic Games

“Even uncertainty about the Unreal Engine’s ability to continue supporting iOS and macOS will make it less likely for Microsoft (and, I believe, other game creators) to select Unreal Engine for their projects,” he added, nothing that Apple’s decision will ultimately “harm game creators and gamers”.

The statement was first shared on Twitter by Xbox head Phil Spencer, who also noted that “ensuring that Epic has access to the latest Apple technology is the right thing for gamer developers and gamers”.

Check out his tweet and the full statement from Gammill below.

On August 14, Epic Games filed legal action against Apple after the company pulled Fortnite from its App Store. This dispute stems from August 13, when Epic Games introduced the “Epic direct payment”, which allowed players to purchase Fortnite’s in-game currency directly from the developer, bypassing Apple’s App Store.

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Over the weekend, Epic Games hosted an in-game event for Fortnite that was based around its dispute with Apple. Known as the #FreeFortnite Cup, the event ran for four hours on August 23, and was a celebration of players being able to play across all platforms for the last time.

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