Microsoft weighed into a legal spat between Epic Games and Apple, arguing the publisher’s Unreal Engine is a critical tool for the software giant and other game developers, and any block would harm the broader market.
In a statement filed with a US district court, Microsoft’s general manager of gaming developer experiences Kevin Gammill noted any move by Apple to terminate Unreal Engine developer accounts would make the software giant and other gaming publishers 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”.
Epic Games filed an injunction against a move by Apple to terminate its iOS and macOS developer accounts on 28 August: the iPhone maker announced the plan after also ditching the publisher’s titles from the App Store in a spat over pricing.
Gammill said blocking Unreal Engine for Apple users may bring “substantial disadvantage” for developers using the platform, as creating games with different tool kits for different platforms “may be prohibitively expensive and difficult”.
Microsoft had previously stood against app store providers, with president Brad Smith calling for increased scrutiny over their policies.
But the backing for Epic Games may not be entirely altruistic, with Microsoft previously also locking horns with Apple over its refusal to offer access to its Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cloud-gaming service.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back