Epic had plans to launch its Epic Games Store and flagship game Fortnite for iOS in the EU through its Swedish subsidiary, Epic Games Sweden AB. But a day before the EU Digital Markets Law came into effect, Apple shut down Epic Games’ developer account in the EU. Let’s unpack who has a grudge against whom for what.

So, Why did Apple Close the Account?

“Apple cited this post X from this thread, written by Tim Sweeney. Apple’s retaliating against Epic for speaking out against Apple’s unfair and unlawful practices, just as they’ve repeatedly done with other developers,” Epic’s blog says.

Apple also claims that Epic poses a threat to their ecosystem, but that’s just an unjustifiable reason to close one of our accounts. Apple has long publicly supported the Unreal Engine. Since 2010, we’ve had consistent contractual relationships with Apple regarding Epic games, Unreal Engine, and our other authoring tools,” Epic fires back.

In the published Epic email between Tim Sweeney and Phil Schiller from Apple, who heads the App Store, Sweeney promises that Epic Games Sweden will diligently adhere to all of Apple’s rules and regulations.

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Apple reserves the right to close developer accounts for a variety of reasons, but Epic speculates in this blog that it happened because Epic’s boss, Tim Sweeney, was rather critical of the company’s practices. In the correspondence between the companies, published by Epic, Apple asserts that the Fortnite maker has proven to be an unreliable partner, citing previous rule violations.

The head of Apple points out that Epic has violated Apple’s Developer Program License Agreement in the past and asks Epic to provide written assurances that it will no longer break the rules. 

Is Epic the Mischievous One?

“In the past, Epic has entered into agreements with Apple, only to break them. For instance, you demonstrated that Epic Games, Inc. joined the Developer Program with the full understanding of its terms, and then deliberately decided to breach the agreement with Apple.”

“You’ve also shown that Epic intentionally violated Apple’s rules to underscore its viewpoint and for financial gain.”

Schiller also cites Sweeney’s tweets about Apple’s compliance plan under the DMA as a reason why the tech giant doesn’t trust Epic to follow its rules, noting that Sweeney describes Apple’s new App Store terms in the EU as “hot garbage,” “a horror show,” and “sinister propaganda.” It’s another case of willful compliance gone awry. He also points to Sweeney’s public complaints about “junk fees” and “Apple taxes.”


Schiller continues, “Your colorful critique of our DMA compliance plan, coupled with Epic’s past practice of willfully breaching contract terms it disagrees with, convincingly suggests that Epic Sweden has no intention of playing by the rules.”

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Apple, wielding its power as the gatekeeper of the App Store, is hitting back at Epic Games with the swift closure of its developer account, citing breaches of agreements and rules. Epic, in its countermove, responds with accusations of unfair treatment and vows of compliance, but its past infractions cast a shadow of doubt over its sincerity.

The conversations between these two titans, ranging from colorful critiques to sharp accusations, leave no room for reconciliation. As each side digs in its heels, the question of trust becomes ever more crucial on the battleground.

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