The apple company ensures that it will eliminate the developer license of Epic Games, which could imply that its games are deleted from the App Store and stop working even if they are already installed.
The tension in the open war between Apple and Epic Games continues to grow. Now, the apple company has notified the video game developer that on August 28 it will remove all its applications from the App Store and “put an end to its developer accounts” if it does not correct the update that prevents the technology company from charging commissions for the purchases that users make within the Fortnite video game . “Apple has informed Epic that it will terminate all of our developer accounts and disconnect us from the iOS and Mac development tools,” the video game company tweeted Monday.
If the threat is met, no Epic application can be downloaded from the App Store, as has already happened with other developers who have previously lost their license because they did not meet the minimum requirements required by Apple. Those apps that users already have installed are at the mercy of what Apple decides in each case, but the most foreseeable thing is that they simply stop working, including Fortnite , the star video game of the developer company, which this May accumulated more than 350 million of players around the world, according to the Statista portal.
Why can unlicensing developers make their apps stop working? The applications that inhabit the Apple ecosystem are always signed by the company. “With this signature, the technology company recognizes that you are an identified and trusted developer,” explains Óscar Lage, cybersecurity expert at Tecnalia. If Apple finally revokes the signature of Epic Games, users will no longer be able to continue playing Fortnite or use the rest of the applications developed by the video game company. “When the devices try to run the app , read the signature and see that it is not recognized by Apple, they just won’t open it.”
For Fortnite fans there is still hope. “If the device checks the signature every time the app runs , the game will stop working; but if the device only reads it when it is installed, they simply won’t be able to update it, ”says Lage. Although a lesser evil, this last scenario would imply that iOS and Mac players will not be able to access updates like the next episode of Fortnite , which will be released soon.
Another of Apple’s threats is to disconnect Epic Games from its development tools, which could harm other video games that have nothing to do with the current conflict. Unreal Engine is one of Epic Games’ core businesses, providing services for hundreds of third-party developers (for whom it charges a commission) to create video games for iOS and macOS based on Apple tools. If Epic Games lose the license, these other companies would have serious problems to continue developing their video games.
This is just the latest chapter in a conflict that has been brewing for months. Last week, Epic Games was successful in preventing Apple and Google from charging commissions for purchases users make while playing Fortnite . In other words, they managed to bypass the usual system, encouraging users to pay the gaming company directly.
Usually, Apple keeps 30% of the payments that users make while they are using the applications that are in its App Store. And Google does the same with the apps in its Play Store. If a player buys a new suit or weapon during games, a portion of what they pay goes directly to technology rather than to the game developer. Epic considers this an abusive practice.
Music, movies and Fortnite: welcome to digital convergence
So last week it sent a new update, which was not reviewed or approved by Apple or Google, which allowed players to pay developers directly. If they chose to pay them directly, the cost was reduced (1,000 V – Bucks went from $ 9.99 to $ 7.99). As a result, the two companies eliminated Fortnite from their app stores and since last Thursday it can no longer be downloaded in any of them.
Epic seemed to have it all planned. When tech companies removed Fortnite from their stores, the video game company responded immediately by announcing legal action against the two companies. In its lawsuit, Epic has asked the court to issue an injunction against Apple preventing it from removing the app.
The company that owns Fortnite had something more prepared and was especially incisive with the apple company. After making the lawsuit public, he asked his followers to “join the fight” against Apple with a video parody of the famous 1984 advertisement of the multinational. The original spot, which aired during the 1984 Super Bowl, announced the arrival of Apple’s Macintosh computer and was intended to criticize “big and powerful companies like IBM.” In the parody video created by Epic and aired last week within Fortnite , the developers suggest that Apple has become the same kind of monopoly it once opposed: a “giant that seeks to control markets, block competition and stifle innovation ”.