Microsoft stands against Apple. This has never happened before.
When Epic Games sued Apple over a week ago in response to Fortnite being taken off the App Store (which, in turn, happened because of Fortnite’s violation of the App Store guidelines), Apple retaliated by stating that Epic Games would no longer have access to the Apple SDK. That, effectively, was a ban for Unreal Engine on iOS and Mac, meaning that all future games using Unreal Engine developed by anyone (not just Epic) would not be allowed on the App Store, and that existing games running on Unreal Engine would no longer be able to receive updates.
Epic Games filed for injunctive relief against that action, stating that Epic themselves, millions of consumers, and countless developers that use Unreal Engine for various purposes would be irreparably harmed. Now, Microsoft have filed a legal document in support of that request for injunctive relief. Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently took to Twitter to reveal the same, linking to Microsoft’s legal document.
In its document, Microsoft states that countless third party developers rely on Unreal Engine for the development of their apps and games, and that the engine being banned on the App Store would “place Unreal Engine and those game creators that have built, are building, and may build games on it at a substantial disadvantage.”
Microsoft also states that existing apps using Unreal Engine would be damaged, since they would no longer be eligible for future updates, and developers would either have to switch over to a new engine or abandon their apps entirely, both of which would cause heavy financial damage.
You can read the full document through the link above.
Recently, Apple filed their own legal documents responding to Epic’s claims, stating that Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney had asked for a special deal before direct purchases in Fortnite were introduced, and that the damage caused to Epic Games as a result has been of “Epic’s own making.” Read more on that through here.
Today we filed a statement in support of Epic's request to keep access to the Apple SDK for its Unreal Engine. Ensuring that Epic has access to the latest Apple technology is the right thing for gamer developers & gamers https://t.co/72bLdDkvUx— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) August 23, 2020