Tech giant Microsoft is backing Epic Games, the studio behind the highly popular ‘Fortnite,’ in its tussle with Apple. Epic Games, a famous game developer, is set to ask a federal court to force Apple to restore the Fortnite app to the App Store. It would also ask the court to block the iPhone maker from removing Epic’s developer tools and limiting its ability to provide critical graphics technology to other apps in the store.
The graphics technology provided is the ‘Unreal Engine,’ a software series that is used by millions of game developers to build 3D games. Cutting off Epic from Apple’s iOS and accessing Mac developer tools would mean the gaming company will become unable to distribute Unreal Engine to other developers. Microsoft, which develops the Xbox, uses the Unreal Engine technology for games built specifically for consoles, PCs, and mobile devices.
The move by Apple “will place Unreal Engine develops and the game developers that have built, are building and can build games on a major disadvantage,” Kevin Gammill, the GM of gaming developer experiences at Microsoft, stated. “Developing a game with different game engines and for different platforms will become prohibitively expensive as well as tough.”
Apple earlier urged a judge in Oakland, California, to reject the request by Epic Games. Earlier in June, Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith stated that European and US regulators need to examine the app store practices (of an unnamed company) that Microsoft later clarified to be Apple.
Smith complained that there were barriers created by the store to get on devices and additional tools charged from the app makers. He stated that these actions could create a significant barrier than Microsoft’s Windows ever did to developers when the company was found guilty of violating the US antitrust policies. Last month, Smith met members of the US House of Representatives’ antitrust subcommittee before a hearing where Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, was a significant witness. The company is seriously upset with Apple’s rules that prevent Microsoft’s Xbox gaming unit from releasing a cloud-gaming service specifically for iPads and iPhones.
Epic Games is a famous American video game and software developer founded by Tim Sweeney. It was earlier known as Potomac Computer Systems. Following the debut commercial video game release, the company was renamed Epic MegaGames, Inc. Later the company name was simplified to Epic Games after the headquarters was moved to Cary in 1999.
Epic Games develops the software technology Unreal Engine, a game engine that powers the internally developed video games. In 2014, Unreal Engine became famous as the “most successful video-game engine” by the prestigious Guinness World Records. Epic Games owns the video game developers Chair Entertainment and Psyonix along with cloud-based software developer Cloudgine.
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