Apple threatened to terminate Epic Games’ developer account on App Store last week. Ahead of the proposed two weeks deadline, the Cupertino giant has now removed the Fortnite maker’s developer account.
While Fortnite players on Apple devices are already missing out on the Marvel-themed latest season, the new development means that users cannot reinstall Fortnite if they had installed the game in the past. Attempting to do so from App Store’s purchased section now throws a ‘This item is no longer available’ error.
“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,” said Apple in a statement.
“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,” it added.
Soon after Apple’s statement, Epic Games Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney said that the company did not spam App Store’s review process. According to him, Epic Games submitted three Fortnite builds, of which two were bug-fix updates.
Apple's statement isn't forthright. They chose to terminate Epic's account; they didn't *have* to.
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
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) August 28, 2020
Meanwhile, Apple is running a featured story promoting Fortnite’s competitor PUBG Mobile through the App Store. In case you’re wondering, PUBG Mobile also uses the Unreal Engine developed by Epic Games.
A new era of @PUBGMOBILE is coming, featuring an overhaul of the Erangel map and a bold new look.
Check out the exclusive sneak peek here. https://t.co/ZmcDm6zKQR
— App Store (@AppStore) August 28, 2020
Apple’s termination of Epic Games’ developer account does not affect Unreal Engine. That’s because Epic Games handles Unreal Engine through a separate ‘Epic International’ developer account and the court has protected that account from getting banned.