The mutual confrontation between Apple and Epic has not stopped, and the two sides are deadlocked. The latest news shows that this move will prompt the latter to stop the Unreal engine's support for ARKit and the upcoming VR technology. It's been a really fun few days for the gaming community.
Last week, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple for removing their massively multiplayer game Fortnite from the iOS app store. The move is a direct response to Epic's introduction of a new payment system in the game that allows Epic to sell in-game items without sharing 30% of the profits with Apple (as per the company's longstanding guidelines).
"Fortnite" was removed from the App Store, and some people took the opportunity to discover new business opportunities. It is understood that iPhones with "Fortnite" installed on eBay were fired up to more than 120,000 yuan.
This is where things get interesting. Epic filed a lawsuit against Apple in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California less than an hour after their games were removed from the App Store and Google Play on Android. Not only that, but the company has launched a comprehensive social media campaign aimed at mobilizing fans to answer their call. It included a #FreeFortnite hashtag on the social network, and a video parody of Apple's infamous "1984" Macintosh ad. Clearly, Epic is luring Apple into a conflict to raise awareness of "Apple's anticompetitive behavior."
On Monday, Apple responded further, threatening to permanently delete Epic's developer account and ban it from future use of Mac and iOS development tools. The decision could be devastating for Epic's Unreal engine and hundreds of existing Unreal-powered Mac and iOS apps. However, things didn't end there. Epic's XR team will no longer be able to use any features that support ARKit, as well as future opportunities for VR/AR and other features to be integrated into Unreal Engine.
In the AR field, since C-side content has not yet emerged and the performance of AR glasses is limited, Unity is the main development engine. Even if the conflict between the two sides intensifies, not many developers are affected. However, both companies have mentioned "future VR functions" before, proving that both sides attach great importance to this future market. While we haven't received any sort of official confirmation, rumors about Apple's VR headsets have been circulating for years. In March, Macrumors revealed in a leaked version of iOS 14 that Apple was working on a hybrid VR/AR headset, further cementing the idea of Apple's upcoming headset.
Given that Unreal Engine is one of the most popular platforms for VR developers, the lawsuit could be detrimental to the VR industry, as it would slow down countless projects still in development and force a halt to developers' efforts to control existing projects. App and game support. According to the "2019 VRCORE China Virtual Reality Developer Report" released by VRCORE, more than half of developers choose to use Unreal Engine to develop VR content, not only games, but also real estate, construction, industry, automobiles, museums, exhibitions and other fields. Unreal Engine developers are still in the majority.
Epic has until August 28 to stop its lawsuit against Apple or their developer accounts will be destroyed. Although we can only believe for now, the company is seeking help from others to step in to weather this self-inflicted storm. Unfortunately for Epic, however, the company believes that the public is not pushing the industry as fair as they initially hoped. Instead of highlighting what Apple considers so-called unfair business practices, their approach is to call for liberal action and further ferment it, which undoubtedly implicates countless developers and players.