Apple said Friday that it had terminated Fortnite creator Epic Games’s account on its App Store amid a legal battle over the iPhone maker’s in-app payment guidelines and allegations that they constitute a monopoly.
Apple said its move will not affect Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, a software tool trusted by hundreds of other app makers. But the move means that iPhone users won’t be able to download Fortnite or other Epic titles through Apple’s App Store. Players who have already downloaded Epic games will be able to continue playing, but will no longer be able to make in-app purchases using Apple’s payment system.
On Monday, a federal court ruled that Apple could block Epic titles at its store, but could not take action that would harm Unreal Engine as Epic’s antitrust lawsuit against the iPhone maker unfolds.
Apple pulled Epic after the popular game creator rolled out a feature to allow iPhone users to make in-app purchases directly, rather than use Apple’s in-app purchasing system, which charges 30% fees. .
Apple had said that it would allow Fortnite to return to the store if Epic removed the direct payment feature. But Epic declined Thursday, saying that complying with Apple’s request would be “conspiring with Apple to maintain its monopoly on in-app payments on iOS.”
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