Fortnite players on Apple Inc’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) products including iPhones, iPads and Macs will miss out on the game’s latest Marvel superhero-themed update amid an ongoing spat between the tech giant and the video game’s creator Epic Games.
On Twitter, Epic’s founder and chief executive Tim Sweeney blamed the lock-out on Apple’s decision to revoke Epic’s access to its software development kit from Friday, which he said will prevent the game being update on Mac.
However, he added that a court had prevented Apple for blocking the entire company’s access to its developer tools as Epic makes the Unreal Engine, a video game development kit used by other creators that are not involved in the dispute.
The ruling followed backing for Epic by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), which uses the Unreal Engine to develop some of its own products and filed its own legal brief earlier this week saying Epic should be permitted to continue developing software on Mac and Apple’s iOS operating system while the case remains in progress.
The legal feud between Epic and Apple began around two weeks ago when the former filed a federal lawsuit against Apple and Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Google after Fortnite was removed from the companies' app stores.
Both of the tech giants removed the game following the introduction of a direct payment feature within the app, which was classed as a violation of their app store rules. The feature allowed players to purchase Fornite’s in-game currency directly from Epic, bypassing Apple and depriving the firm of its usual 30% cut from sales made through its mandatory payment system.
In court documents filed in Northern California, Epic alleged that Apple is engaged in anticompetitive practices to maintain a monopoly that effectively allows it to control what apps are available on its iPhones as well as forcing the use of its own payment system along with the 30% cut.
However, Apple has hit back saying that Epic introduced the payment option to Fortnite with the express intention of violating App Store guidelines and having the game removed, possibly to garner user support and help establish its own competing app store for users.
The bans mean Apple’s Fortnite players will not be able to install the game or update it, although those with copies already installed will still be able to play, while Android users may still be able to launch the app through Epic’s own launcher.
Shares in Apple were down 0.13% at US$505.44 in mid-morning trading on Wall Street on Thursday, while Alphabet was down 0.58% at US$1,634 and Microsoft was up 3.6% at US$229.17.