Apple tells Epic ‘we won’t make an exception’ for Fortnite

Apple has responded to Epic Games’ latest salvo in the ongoing dispute between the two companies. Epic had said that Apple is threatening to revoke its access to iOS and Mac developer tools by removing it from the Apple Developer Program unless it cuts a rule-violating payment processing option that it snuck into Fortnite.

“We very much want to keep the company as part of the Apple Developer Program and their apps on the Store,” Apple says in a statement to The Verge. “The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can easily be remedied if they submit an update of their app that reverts it to comply with the guidelines they agreed to and which apply to all developers.”

Here’s the full statement:

The App Store is designed to be a safe and trusted place for users and a great business opportunity for all developers. Epic has been one of the most successful developers on the App Store, growing into a multibillion dollar business that reaches millions of iOS customers around the world. We very much want to keep the company as part of the Apple Developer Program and their apps on the Store. The problem Epic has created for itself is one that can easily be remedied if they submit an update of their app that reverts it to comply with the guidelines they agreed to and which apply to all developers. We won’t make an exception for Epic because we don’t think it’s right to put their business interests ahead of the guidelines that protect our customers.

Epic’s surprise Fortnite update was designed to get around app store guidelines that demand developers use the platform owners’ payment systems for in-app purchases of digital goods like V-bucks, giving Apple and Google a 30-percent cut. The rules only apply to digital items, which is why you can buy a burger on UberEats or a physical book in the Amazon app with Uber and Amazon handling the payments but you can’t do the same with a Kindle ebook or a Fortnite skin that makes your character dress up as a burger.

Apple and Google removed Fortnite from the App Store and the Play Store in response to Epic’s violation, and Epic hit back with prepared lawsuits suing the two companies for anticompetitive practices. Epic has also filed a preliminary injunction asking the courts to prevent Apple from cutting it off from the developer program; otherwise, Apple says Epic has until August 28th to make the changes.

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