Apple has officially deleted Epic Games’ developer account from the App Store, meaning that macOS and iOS players can no longer download Fortnite or Infinity Blade even if they already downloaded it once before, The Verge reports.
The move was finalized on Friday, after a judge denied Epic’s motion for a temporary restraining order against Apple removing it’s developer account as she did in regard to the Unreal Engine. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted the TRO in regards to the Unreal Engine because, as a separate entity to Epic Game, it has not breached its contract. However, the court urged Epic to “take it back to the status quo” to avoid any damage, which the court maintains it inflicted on itself.
In a statement announcing the new developments, Apple said:
“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. 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.”
This is the latest development in the current legal battle between Apple and Epic, which started when epic purposefully defied an App Store policy which allowed Apple to take a 15-30% commission of all in-app purchases. Epic claims this is unfair and that Apple is attempting to monopolize the market. To combat this, Epic updated Fortnite to include a new feature allowing users to pay Epic directly through the app.
Since, the two companies have been very publicly feuding and iOS and macOS players have been consistently caught in the crossfire. First, Fortnite’s newest season was not made available through the App Store and cross-play with non-Apple devices is no longer available.
From now on, Epic won’t be able to submit new games to the App Store and users will not be able to download or redownload any of the apps already on there. For those who already had the apps downloaded and installed, they’ll be able to continue playing. This does not apply to the House Party app.