Apple Inc. on Friday removed the account of Epic Games, the creator and developer of widely-popular online game ‘Fortnite’ from its App Store, amid an ongoing court challenge following Apple’s earlier removal of the game from the platform, Fox News Business reported.
The giant tech firm pointed out that the removal of the account would not harm Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, a software tool that Epic, as well as hundreds of other app makers, rely on to develop apps.
Although Epic Games would not be able to upload to the store new apps, or submit updates of already existing ones, Fortnite players on Mac or iOS device could reportedly continue to play previously downloaded Epic games, but would no longer be able to make in-app purchases using the Apple payment system.
Apple’s move came after a federal court allowed the iPhone maker last Monday to remove Fortnite developer titles from the App Store, with the condition of keeping Epic's Unreal Engine, as the court case proceeds.
On 13 August, Apple removed Fortnite from its App Store after the developer of the popular game introduced an in-game direct-payment option in addition to the option of purchasing through the App Store. The tech company argued that its action came in response to Epic’s “intent of violating the App Store guidelines” by adding the direct payment method and bypassing Apple.
Epic Games said that it added the in-game direct-payment option to save for its players 20 percent of purchase fees that Apple collects for using its payment system, accusing the iPhone maker of “anticompetitive conduct”, an accusation that is at the heart of the lawsuit filed against Apple.
“Apple’s removal of Fortnite is yet another example of Apple flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100% monopoly over the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market,” Epic said in its lawsuit.