Removing Epic’s account means more than 1 billion users won’t have access to its apps

Removing Epic's account means more than 1 billion users won't have access to its apps

Apple’s dispute with the designer of the popular online game Fortnite is escalating, threatening Epic Games with the removal of its developer account and termination of the relevant tools, as well as limiting its ability to provide basic graphics technologies to other applications.

The iPhone maker’s plans were revealed in court by Epic on Monday. The company asked the California federal court to block the removal of Fortnite from the App Store.

Epic also asked the court not to allow Apple to terminate its developer account on August 28, arguing that it would likely suffer irreparable damage if the court did not order Fortnite to be made available to smartphone users.

Dropping Epic from Apple’s iOS and Mac developer tools would mean the company can no longer distribute Unreal Engine to other developers, Epic said in its filing in court. Epic’s Unreal Engine is a series of software tools used by millions of developers to build 3D games and other products.

Removing Epic’s account means that more than 1 billion iPhone, iPad and Mac users will not have access to its applications, while it could mean the removal of the company’s other games. It currently has a game on sale in the App Store called Shadow Complex Remastered and another Battle Breakers for iPhone and the iPad.

The dispute between the two companies stems from Apple’s app store requirement, which charges a 30% stake in purchases made within its platform. Last Thursday, Epic began offering customers a way to buy Fortnite items directly and bypass Apple’s stake. Hours later, Apple withdrew the app. Google did the same later, removing Fortnite from the Play app store.