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Microsoft backs Epic Games in legal battle against Apple over Fortnite

© Vlad Gorshkov

Microsoft has publicly called out Apple after it banned Epic Games’ Fortnite from the App Store, saying its actions will “harm game creators and gamers”.

The technology giant said in a statement on Sunday that Apple’s actions would impede “Epic’s ability to develop and support Unreal Engine for iOS or macOS”.

Microsoft also said that the move would cut off access to game developers who use the popular Unreal Engine, which is made by Epic. The Unreal Engine is also used by numerous games studios that have invested heavily in development of titles that include virtual reality experiences, of which Microsoft is one.

In an escalation of a legal battle that has seen Fortnite taken off the App Store and gamers unable to play the title due to Apple’s policies, Microsoft’s intervention may lead to more companies backing Epic Games.

Since Apple’s decision to remove the game, there have been arguments for and against its policies.

Epic Games has been critical of Apple for creating what it calls “a monopoly” in relation to the fees that Apple takes from in-game purchases (currently at 30%).

The company also said that it was “threatening an entire ecosystem of game developers” and filed a new lawsuit on Sunday.

In comparison to Apple fees, Microsoft currently takes a 15-30% cut of software sales depending on which platform titles are purchased from.

Apple however fired back and said Epic Games had created a “false emergency” and was violating their policies by circumventing direct payments.