Last week, Apple announced it would terminate all Epic’s developer accounts and block iOS and Mac development tools for the Fortnite company. Epic filed a motion for temporary restraning order on Apple’s actions. According to the documentation Epic submitted to the court, Apple’s decision does not simply target Fortnite on iOS and Mac devices. It’s also “a direct attack on the ongoing viability of the Unreal Engine” on those platforms.
Microsoft certaintly sees it that way. It filed a statement in support of Epic’s request to keep access to the Apple SDK for its Unreal Engine.
“Ensuring that Epic has access to the latest Apple technology is the right thing for gamer developers & gamers,” said Phil Spenser on Twitter.
According to Microsoft, Unreal Engine is one of the most popular third-party game engines available to game creators, especially when it comes to supporting multiple platforms. Microsoft’s own racing title Forza Street, which is available on iOS, uses Unreal Engine.
The company also said that bigger studios have the advanate of developing their own engines, while smaller devs have to rely on third-party solutions. Those will be most affected by Apple’s discontinuation of Epic’s ability to develop and support Unreal Engine for iOS or macOS.