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News Microsoft Warns Court That Apple Blocking Epic Will Hurt Games Business

llien

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In a declaration filed on Sunday, a senior Microsoft engineer said that allowing Apple to block Epic Games' developer account would deal a significant blow to game makers including Microsoft by making them unable to use Epic's Unreal Engine. The Unreal Engine, a type of gaming engine, is a widely used set of technologies that provides a framework for the creation of three dimensional graphics. Epic licenses the engine to companies that use the technology for a fee. "If Unreal Engine cannot support games for iOS or macOS, Microsoft would be required to choose between abandoning its customers and potential customers on the iOS and macOS platforms or choosing a different game engine when preparing to develop new games," Kevin Gammill, Microsoft's general manager for Gaming Developer Experiences, said in the declaration.

He added that "Apple's discontinuation of Epic's ability to develop and support Unreal Engine for iOS or macOS will harm game creators and gamers." While there are alternative gaming engines, Gammill said that "very few" are available with as many features and the same functionality. The declaration came as part of a lawsuit brought by Epic against Apple over the iPhone maker's rules guaranteeing itself a 30% cut of in-app purchases. The suit is filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Epic Games tested Apple's policy by sidestepping the rule in an update to its hit game Fortnite, and then sued after Apple removed the game from the App Store. The company has brought a similar suit against Google over its Play Store.

slashdot

Note that Epic isn't taking any action against Apple via Unreal Engine. Apple is blocking updates to Unreal Engine, because of the fight over Fortnite. There's no reason for Apple to do this other than spite. Apple's apparently happy to go against what's good for iOS users if they can ding Epic.

Related:
 
Aug 28, 2019
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This whole stunt should have everyone questioning the world of digital stores and hardware walled gardens, and the world that so heavily depends on the whims of Tim Sweeney lol

I seriously have to wonder what investors like Sony think; would they have been privy to these plans before plopping down a quarter billion?
 
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Black_Stride

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This whole stunt should have everyone questioning the world of digital stores and hardware walled gardens, and the world that so heavily depends on the whims of Tim Sweeney lol

I seriously have to wonder what investors like Sony think; would they have been privy to these plans before plopping down a quarter billion?

Quarter of a billion dollars gets you a memo 2 seconds before they pull the trigger.
They put in pocket change compared to grand scheme EPIC got during that investor pull.

When you are putting in such a small amount the idea is you let that money work....you dont actually say or do much (you effectively have given EPIC a loan), put the money in and hope you get more money back at the end of the day.
 
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Cert.in.Death

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I seriously have to wonder what investors like Sony think; would they have been privy to these plans before plopping down a quarter billion?
Naturally. Sweeney is still the majority shareholder, so they knew that he'd be steering the ship when they jumped aboard. But the amount of their investment is so minimal that they really just want to recoup some of the licensing fees they're going to be paying as well as to strategically build up their own interest or be privy to shareholder information.
 
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Naturally. Sweeney is still the majority shareholder, so they knew that he'd be steering the ship when they jumped aboard. But the amount of their investment is so minimal that they really just want to recoup some of the licensing fees they're going to be paying as well as to strategically build up their own interest or be privy to shareholder information.
Not saying Sony should even be concerned about their money; it's just sort of a weird optics issue to invest in a company that then immediately turns around to fight the good fight against "hardware walled gardens" when your bread and butter is selling a hardware walled garden lol

Microsoft really tip-toeing with the matter of fact "this will effect Unreal engine games" statement, and not actually supporting Epic in their fight, for obvious reasons lol
 
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MrFunSocks

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Saying that Apple have “no reason to be going after unreal” is wrong. Epic violates the terms and conditions of their contract intentionally, so their entire accounts are being removed. Those accounts have everything to do with unreal, therefor unreal engine is caught in the crossfire.
 

Zefah

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What kind of argument is that? Please let this massively successful game engine owner user their massive success to bully other businesses into submission!

Note that Epic isn't taking any action against Apple via Unreal Engine. Apple is blocking updates to Unreal Engine, because of the fight over Fortnite. There's no reason for Apple to do this other than spite. Apple's apparently happy to go against what's good for iOS users if they can ding Epic.

Isn't it the same developer/publisher account? Maybe Epic should have spun off their Unreal engine business into a separate company if they didn't want the engine to get caught up in this Fortnite war.
 
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LordCBH

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I mean. Their developer account status wouldn’t be at risk had they not knowingly and intentionally broken their signed contract they’ve had for 10 years.
 

Zefah

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No, besides, devs get their apps banned routinely. It doesn't lead to acc bans.

You're sure that their Apple Developer Account is not the same for Unreal Engine and Fortnite?

In regards to other apps, has there ever been one that tried to subvert the payment system like this?
 

onesvenus

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I mean. Their developer account status wouldn’t be at risk had they not knowingly and intentionally broken their signed contract they’ve had for 10 years.
Having an app rejected/removed because it doesn't comply with Apple requirements does not imply having your account banned.
 
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I don't have overall sympathy for Apple, but it kinda does make sense for Apple to *not* want Unreal Engine products on their shit and continue business deals involving Unreal engine while they're in the middle of a major public legal dispute with with the owners of Unreal.
 
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Not saying Sony should even be concerned about their money; it's just sort of a weird optics issue to invest in a company that then immediately turns around to fight the good fight against "hardware walled gardens" when your bread and butter is selling a hardware walled garden lol

Microsoft really tip-toeing with the matter of fact "this will effect Unreal engine games" statement, and not actually supporting Epic in their fight, for obvious reasons lol
That is, unless Microsoft is making steps towards abandoning hardware and going third party.
 
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CitizenX

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This is simply a power move and new negotiation tactic from Epic+MS. Epic goes to Apple says, we are only going to pay you X amount, Apple says fck off. Instead of doing normal business, offer an acceptable %(not 30%) Epic goes, nah fam, we go to twitter and fake news(like the left) and say how bad you are. You are not fair and cry to their slaves who live on their phones. Funny, when all parties involved all share the same hive mind. its sort of like 2 queens in a slap fight.

Apple has every right to say no, thats simply called business. If these three closed tomorrow, i wouldn't care and neither should you.
 

DrAspirino

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Saying that Apple have “no reason to be going after unreal” is wrong. Epic violates the terms and conditions of their contract intentionally, so their entire accounts are being removed. Those accounts have everything to do with unreal, therefor unreal engine is caught in the crossfire.
Exactly. Seems that no one here reads the License Agreements (or just ignore them), but companies the size of EPIC, Microsoft and such have legal teams scrutinizing them down to the letter.

Also, Rene Ritchie has a very good point: IF (and it's a big if) EPIC succeeds in this pursuit against Apple AND Google, it would set precedent for them and their legal team to go full-force against the Microsoft Store, PS Store and Nintendo Store - all of which charge exactly the same as Google and Apple for distribution (30%). Picture the "EPIC Store" situation on PC, but on every single platform.

In fact, if you read closely, Microsoft only refers to the Unreal engine situation while staying silent about Fortnite or EPIC Store, because they know that's EPIC's endgame: EPIC Store everywhere.
 

reinking

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As far as I am concerned Epic acted maliciously and have proven that they will act in a reckless manner.
 

Investor9872

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You can warn and complain all you want, but no one is going to walk into my house and setup shop, and then also dictate the terms of business. MS wouldn't want others to do the same to them. MS is setting a bad precedence if they and Epic win in court.
 

llien

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In regards to other apps, has there ever been one that tried to subvert the payment system like this?
Kindle, lol?

This take is too naive, I do not believe that you do not see the "we are at war so let me take revenge" in this.

You can warn and complain all you want, but no one is going to walk into my house and setup shop, and then also dictate the terms of business.
It's amazing how short sited this view is.
The "you stupid greedy fucks, from now on you can't..." happens routinely. E.g. roaming costs in EU, right to move your bank account (or phone number) to a new provider, right ot use your own modem, right to recall back your signature within two weeks of signing, invalidating contract that was misleading customers, large swaths of T&C being turned "filthy fucks wrote it down, but you don't need to follow it" etc etc.

I guess it might come surprising to some, but laws surrounding that are largely driven by what is in the interests of the customers.

no one here reads the License Agreements
You mean those endless walls of texts that companies can just write up and call it "T&C"?
Shocking that nobody reads those.
 
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Airbus Jr

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Epic is partially owned by Tencent now which is owned by CCP government

Developers shouldnt relly on Unreal Engine

Theres plenty other options out there Frosbite, Cryengine, Anvil

Time to use it

Not a fan of Apple but what Epic did is just wrong
 
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llien

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Oh, look at that: "...not only has the underlying agreement not been breached...".
Something something, T&C something.
 

MrFunSocks

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Oh, look at that: "...not only has the underlying agreement not been breached...".
Something something, T&C something.
This is separate to the main lawsuit. If Apple win the main lawsuit then Epic and their engine will be gone because they did breach the agreement. This was just to stop them kicking them off before the lawsuit is completed.
 

vaibhavpisal

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This whole stunt should have everyone questioning the world of digital stores and hardware walled gardens, and the world that so heavily depends on the whims of Tim Sweeney lol

I seriously have to wonder what investors like Sony think; would they have been privy to these plans before plopping down a quarter billion?

Tim Sweeny's whim?

Looks like entire industry is involved one way or the other.
 

llien

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This is separate to the main lawsuit. If Apple win the main lawsuit then Epic and their engine will be gone because they did breach the agreement.
I'm not sure I'm following: why would Unreal Engine which didn't "breach underlying agreement" need to "be gone", if Apple's banning of Fortnight is found lawful?
 
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MrFunSocks

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I'm not sure I'm following: why would Unreal Engine which didn't "breach underlying agreement" need to "be gone", if Apple's banning of Fortnight is found lawful?
Apple are going to cancel all of Epics developer accounts because of the fortnite update. When that happens Unreal engine apparently will not be allowed on iOS.
 

Three

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What kind of argument is that? Please let this massively successful game engine owner user their massive success to bully other businesses into submission!



Isn't it the same developer/publisher account? Maybe Epic should have spun off their Unreal engine business into a separate company if they didn't want the engine to get caught up in this Fortnite war.
You can block an app from the store without blocking someone's developer account. Both parties are being petty at this point.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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Maybe we shouldn't be using unreal engine as much, huh? If I went with Unity or Source 2 I wouldn't have to worry about the parent company pulling legal stunts that put my livelihood in jeopardy.
 
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Away with the fairies
We all know which direction this is heading and I'm surprised it's taken so long.

Apple will be entering the gaming market with a hand-held, all in one device. It streams and plays games, has Apple messenger for traditional texts, Facetime in lieu of traditional phone calls and can be attached switch-style to an Apple TV like device.

They want Unreal off of the Apple ecosystem because Apple games and Apple devs will use Apple's own proprietary game engine, used by third parties and indie-devs alike.
 

DJ Shalad

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Microsoft does not GIVE one fuck about Epic or Tencent. All they want is to have gamepass on iOS. Microsoft does not benefit at all from Epic being on iOS nor has Microsoft anything to lose if Epic/Fortnite is banned from iOS.

No Gamepass, xCloud on iOS equals less money for Microsoft equals
Blocking Epic Will Hurt Games Business.


 

Ten_Fold

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Microsoft don’t care about EPIC, they care about unreal engine, hopefully this is a wake up call for devs to try other engines, I know unreal engine is the most common for AAA games but might be time to use something different.
 
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You can block an app from the store without blocking someone's developer account. Both parties are being petty at this point.
The aggressor being petty deserves a respond in kind. This is not a "both sides are equally bad" situation, no matter how much Americans want to believe this works everywhere. Contracts got broken, a price has to be paid.
 

JCK75

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Then Microsoft should demand Epic stick to making engines and shitty BR games for 8 year olds and stop trying to destroy gaming.
 

Three

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The aggressor being petty deserves a respond in kind. This is not a "both sides are equally bad" situation, no matter how much Americans want to believe this works everywhere. Contracts got broken, a price has to be paid.
I guess if you want to look at principle. Luckily courts don't usually see it like that and look down on pettiness from both sides.
 

D.Final

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In a declaration filed on Sunday, a senior Microsoft engineer said that allowing Apple to block Epic Games' developer account would deal a significant blow to game makers including Microsoft by making them unable to use Epic's Unreal Engine. The Unreal Engine, a type of gaming engine, is a widely used set of technologies that provides a framework for the creation of three dimensional graphics. Epic licenses the engine to companies that use the technology for a fee. "If Unreal Engine cannot support games for iOS or macOS, Microsoft would be required to choose between abandoning its customers and potential customers on the iOS and macOS platforms or choosing a different game engine when preparing to develop new games," Kevin Gammill, Microsoft's general manager for Gaming Developer Experiences, said in the declaration.

He added that "Apple's discontinuation of Epic's ability to develop and support Unreal Engine for iOS or macOS will harm game creators and gamers." While there are alternative gaming engines, Gammill said that "very few" are available with as many features and the same functionality. The declaration came as part of a lawsuit brought by Epic against Apple over the iPhone maker's rules guaranteeing itself a 30% cut of in-app purchases. The suit is filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Epic Games tested Apple's policy by sidestepping the rule in an update to its hit game Fortnite, and then sued after Apple removed the game from the App Store. The company has brought a similar suit against Google over its Play Store.

slashdot

Note that Epic isn't taking any action against Apple via Unreal Engine. Apple is blocking updates to Unreal Engine, because of the fight over Fortnite. There's no reason for Apple to do this other than spite. Apple's apparently happy to go against what's good for iOS users if they can ding Epic.

Related:
The Microsoft move is settled
 
Oct 2, 2019
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Never a dull moment with good ol' Tim Tim.

 
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ManaByte

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What kind of argument is that? Please let this massively successful game engine owner user their massive success to bully other businesses into submission!

If Apple is able to ban Epic from iOS that affects Unreal Engine. MS has a couple of Unreal Engine games on iOS and other developers do as well. Blocking that engine from accessing Apple's tools would hurt more than just big bad Epic.
 

ManaByte

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Amiga

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MS is on the correct side here, Epic tools =/= Epic games. this effects even compliant 3rd party games. Apple is overreaching.
 
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ManaByte

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MS is on the correct side here, Epic tools =/= Epic games. this effects even compliant 3rd party games. Apple is overreaching.

People see "Epic" and just snap into their "EGS BAD!" reflex without understanding the larger ramifications of banning them from an entire platform and what that does to other companies.
 
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