Microsoft Sides with Epic Games’s Legal Fight against Apple

Image: Epic Games

It appears that Epic Games is gaining some powerful allies in its crusade against big, bad Apple. Following a retaliatory effort that jeopardized the future of Unreal Engine on iOS and Mac, Microsoft gaming executive Kevin Gammill today filed court documents pledging his support for Epic, which had inadvertently dug graves for the numerous developers out there who have invested in Apple’s ecosystem.

Gammill argues that Apple’s Unreal Engine ban is a “harmful” response that would not only hurt Epic, but Microsoft and the countless other companies that rely on the ultra-popular game engine. You can check out the full 12-page document here, but these are a few of his key concerns:

  • Denying Epic access to Apple’s SDK and other development tools will prevent Epic from supporting Unreal Engine on iOS and macOS, and will place Unreal Engine and those game creators that have built, are building, and may build games on it at a substantial disadvantage.
  • If Unreal Engine cannot support games for iOS or macOS, Microsoft would be required to 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.
  • For game creators in the later stages of development utilizing Unreal Engine and targeting the iOS and/or macOS platform, Unreal Engine’s sudden loss of support for iOS and macOS would create significant costs and difficult decisions. The creator would have significant sunk costs and lost time using Unreal Engine for game creation, and would have to choose between (a) starting development all over with a new game engine, (b) abandoning the iOS and macOS platforms, or (c) ceasing development entirely.

Epic Games filed documents of its own regarding this little predicament today, claiming that many developers have sounded similar alarms. “Specifically, over the past week, multiple Unreal Engine licensees have contacted Epic expressing grave concern over Apple’s actions and its impact on their iOS and macOS-bound projects,” a passage reads.

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