Microsoft has filed a declaration of support for Epic Games in their motion against Apple for denying Epic access to Apple’s development tools for IOS, which has the potential to end support for Epic’s Unreal Engine on the platform.
“Epic Games’ Unreal Engine is critical technology for numerous game creators including Microsoft,” wrote Kevin Gammill, General Manager of Gaming Developer Experiences for Microsoft.
Epic previously launched a new update for their game Fortnite which allowed players to buy in-game currency directly from Epic, circumventing Apple’s 30% revenue cut from all in-app purchases. In response, Apple delisted Fortnite from the IOS app store and announced a suspension of support for Unreal Engine.
Gammill went on to describe Unreal Engine’s significance to small game developers, explaining how game engines like Unreal Engine allow small developers to save both time and money in their development cycle by not developing their own single use game engine.
The declaration comes in tandem with Epic’s motion against Apple, in which Epic details the ways in which Apple’s removal of Unreal Engine support on IOS would hinder game development. The motion argues that Apple’s removal of Unreal Engine support is unfounded, and could cause irreparable damage to the game development community.
“Apple does not contend that Epic breached any contract in connection with the Unreal Engine,” wrote attorneys representing Epic. “Apple’s intention to cut off access to developer tools and cripple the Unreal Engine is a naked effort to exert business leverage over Epic to try to get Epic to back down from challenging Apple’s unlawful contact.”
Epic has attempted to focus the public perception of their lawsuit against Apple as a righteous one, focusing their message on the supposed monopoly Apple has on IOS app store purchases. However, the use of Fortnite events, skins, and cinematics to make this message has been met with controversy.
“Epic has breached its contracts with Apple, using its own customers and Apple’s users as leverage,” attorneys for Apple wrote in a statement Friday. “If Epic is looking for immediate relief for its customers, it can remove its ‘hotfix,’ continue to comply with the contracts it signed and that apply to everyone else.”
Nicolas Perez is an editorial intern at Paste and opinion co-editor for New University. He’s rambling on Twitter @Nic_Perez_.