Microsoft has spoken out in support of Epic Games, the publisher of Fortnite, as the gaming company’s battle with Apple continues. The outcome of the two tech companies dispute could set a precedent for the future of iOS-based games.
In a letter drafted by the gaming general manager for Microsoft, Kevin Gammill, the company verified that it supported Epic Games in its battle with Apple who threatened to remove the gaming tech from the developer program. In the statement, Gammill emphasized that:
“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.”
Gammill went on the say that what with the appearing uncertainty concerning the ability of Unreal Engine to continue the iOS and macOS platforms, it will become less likely that Microsoft, along with other gaming creators, to continue to opt in using Unreal Engine for any current or future projects.
With this statement, Microsoft is reinforcing a situation that Epic Games previously pointed out. That by removing the gaming company from their developer program, Apple would only succeed in punishing their own company as they would other companies that currently use and rely on the Unreal Engine development wing.
If Apple follows through and removes Epic from its iOS developer program, how would this hurt Apple as well, you ask. In a nutshell, it would prove to prevent the continuation of support on the platform via any new updates or releases.
This would mean that any studio that currently used the Unreal Engine in the development of its iOS games would not be able to continue to do so effectively. As mentioned in their statement, Microsoft is one of those developers that rely on the Unreal Engine in the development of their iOS titles.
What really stands out in Microsoft’s statement is that, although the company is clearly leaving the door open for the possibility of using another engine, they also make no bones about the fact that they could up and drop iOS like a hot potato.
It only follows to logic that Microsoft would be in camp Epic, as Apple confirmed recently that they would not be allowing Microsofts Project xCloud app launch on the iOS system. The reason was stated to be that the app would allow its users to purchase and access purchases located outside of the Apple system. Many are on the side of Microsoft’s belief that Apple is being closed-minded in their policies.
What is also at the root of the problem is that Apple charges those companies, such as Fortnite, a 30% fee for in-app transactions. Epic has more than made it clear that the problem they have is not just about the fact they feel Apple is working to build a monopoly, but also the amount of money lost to Apple over the exsorbent fees they levy.
This looks to be a battle that will rage on for quite some time. However, one has to wonder if the tide has shifted slightly now that Microsoft has come out supporting Epic’s take on the whole situation.