I think we’d better have a single place to discuss this, so here it is.
If you’re just checking the news after the last week, this is the latest drama in the world of game development:
- Epic took payments for Fortnite on iOS through their own system and Apple banned Fortnite from the app store.
- Epic had apparently planned for this and immediately launched a court case that revolves around anti-trust behaviour by Apple.
This all seems pretty reasonable. Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there.
- Apple locked Epic out of their dev tools (probably mostly just signing and Testflight) which effectively halts future iOS and MacOS support in UE.
- Apple also seem to be saying that they’ll detect UE apps during the app store approval process and block them.
This is obviously not too great for all of us. The potential fallout (as in IT HASN’T HAPPENED YET) is:
- Mobile development on iOS for UE stops.
- Some VFX applications are written off as well, as MacOS is fairly integral to a number of studio solutions. At the indie end, systems that rely on iOS for face tracking or AR data stop working.
- Apple devices that are almost the only occupant in that market space become unreachable. This can include things like iPads and Apple TV.
I think we all hope that this is a gambit that will pay off for Epic. It likely will, Apple app store policies are in violation of anti-trust laws, and by doubling down on other developers they’ve really proven Epic’s case for them. In the meantime local development shouldn’t be affected, so fingers crossed that this doesn’t drag on too long.
So how are you guys feeling? How are you affected?