Update: Apple reinstates Epic’s iOS developer account after EU inquiry

Macworld

Updated March 8: Tim Sweeney has posted on X that Apple is restoring Epic’s developer account.

After the DMA forced Apple to open up its app ecosystem in the EU, Epic Games announced that it would bring its own game store to iOS in Europe and bring Fortnite back to the platform there. Though the company still disagrees with Apple’s new developer terms, it nonetheless wanted to make good on its promise to offer an alternative to the App Store for game developers as the Digital Markets Act now forces Apple to allow.

Earlier this week, Epic reported that its plans were on hold because Apple had terminated the developer account it planned to use to publish its iOS game store. Epic announced on February 16 that its developer account for this project, Epic Games Sweden AB, was approved by Apple. On Friday, CEO Tim Sweeney posted on X (formerly Twitter) that following a “swift inquiry,” Apple had “notified the Commission and Epic that it would relent and restore our access to bring back Fortnite and launch Epic Games Store in Europe under the DMA law.”

Why did Apple terminate the account in the first place? Epic claims it is largely because of the company’s criticism of Apple’s policies:

Apple said one of the reasons they terminated our developer account only a few weeks after approving it was because we publicly criticized their proposed DMA compliance plan. Apple cited this X post from this thread written by Tim Sweeney. Apple is retaliating against Epic for speaking out against Apple’s unfair and illegal practices, just as they’ve done to other developers time and time again. 

Apple also claims that Epic is a threat to their ecosystem, but this is an entirely unjustified excuse to terminate one of our accounts. Apple has been a long-time public supporter of Unreal Engine. We also have had ongoing contractual relationships with Apple going back to 2010 for Epic’s games, Unreal Engine, and our other creator tools.

Epic Games

The blog post continues by showing correspondence between Epic Games and Apple over its attempt to publish its game store, comply with Apple’s new terms, and secure one of Apple’s DMA consultation slots to discuss rules and compliance with Apple (for which it was unsuccessful).

Apple sent us the following statement explaining why it terminated the account:

Epic’s egregious breach of its contractual obligations to Apple led courts to determine that Apple has the right to terminate ‘any or all of Epic Games’ wholly owned subsidiaries, affiliates, and/or other entities under Epic Games’ control at any time and at Apple’s sole discretion.’ In light of Epic’s past and ongoing behavior, Apple chose to exercise that right.

Apple

Apple seems to be saying that Epic’s past behavior gives them the right to terminate any of their accounts at will, and they don’t trust the company not to break its contracts again.

Update 03/08: Apple has decided to reinstate Epic’s account, issuing the following statement:

Following conversations with Epic, they have committed to follow the rules, including our DMA policies. As a result, Epic Sweden AB has been permitted to re-sign the developer agreement and accepted into the Apple Developer Program.

Apple

The legal and regulatory battle over iPhone app distribution and payments, of which Epic Games plays a central part, is far from over. We expect more developments, both in the EU and in other markets, in the coming weeks and months.

Apple Inc, iOS

​Macworld Macworld

Updated March 8: Tim Sweeney has posted on X that Apple is restoring Epic’s developer account.

After the DMA forced Apple to open up its app ecosystem in the EU, Epic Games announced that it would bring its own game store to iOS in Europe and bring Fortnite back to the platform there. Though the company still disagrees with Apple’s new developer terms, it nonetheless wanted to make good on its promise to offer an alternative to the App Store for game developers as the Digital Markets Act now forces Apple to allow.

Earlier this week, Epic reported that its plans were on hold because Apple had terminated the developer account it planned to use to publish its iOS game store. Epic announced on February 16 that its developer account for this project, Epic Games Sweden AB, was approved by Apple. On Friday, CEO Tim Sweeney posted on X (formerly Twitter) that following a “swift inquiry,” Apple had “notified the Commission and Epic that it would relent and restore our access to bring back Fortnite and launch Epic Games Store in Europe under the DMA law.”

Why did Apple terminate the account in the first place? Epic claims it is largely because of the company’s criticism of Apple’s policies:

Apple said one of the reasons they terminated our developer account only a few weeks after approving it was because we publicly criticized their proposed DMA compliance plan. Apple cited this X post from this thread written by Tim Sweeney. Apple is retaliating against Epic for speaking out against Apple’s unfair and illegal practices, just as they’ve done to other developers time and time again. 

Apple also claims that Epic is a threat to their ecosystem, but this is an entirely unjustified excuse to terminate one of our accounts. Apple has been a long-time public supporter of Unreal Engine. We also have had ongoing contractual relationships with Apple going back to 2010 for Epic’s games, Unreal Engine, and our other creator tools.
Epic Games

The blog post continues by showing correspondence between Epic Games and Apple over its attempt to publish its game store, comply with Apple’s new terms, and secure one of Apple’s DMA consultation slots to discuss rules and compliance with Apple (for which it was unsuccessful).

Apple sent us the following statement explaining why it terminated the account:

Epic’s egregious breach of its contractual obligations to Apple led courts to determine that Apple has the right to terminate ‘any or all of Epic Games’ wholly owned subsidiaries, affiliates, and/or other entities under Epic Games’ control at any time and at Apple’s sole discretion.’ In light of Epic’s past and ongoing behavior, Apple chose to exercise that right.
Apple

Apple seems to be saying that Epic’s past behavior gives them the right to terminate any of their accounts at will, and they don’t trust the company not to break its contracts again.

Update 03/08: Apple has decided to reinstate Epic’s account, issuing the following statement:

Following conversations with Epic, they have committed to follow the rules, including our DMA policies. As a result, Epic Sweden AB has been permitted to re-sign the developer agreement and accepted into the Apple Developer Program.
Apple

The legal and regulatory battle over iPhone app distribution and payments, of which Epic Games plays a central part, is far from over. We expect more developments, both in the EU and in other markets, in the coming weeks and months.

Apple Inc, iOS 

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