Apple has banned Epic Games from returning indefinitely to its App Store ecosystem despite the game developer saying it will deactivate its own payment system, according to a series of emails posted on Twitter and one blog post by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney.
Epic’s iOS developer account was suspended in August last year following the company’s introduction of a new payment system to bypass Apple’s payment systems and commission fees. by 30%. The ban sparked Epic’s lawsuits against Apple, with the U.S. lawsuit resulting in a mixed court ruling two weeks ago.
The mixed court ruling found that Apple was justified in terminating Epic’s iOS developer account because it violated App Store guidelines.
That decision has since been appealed by Epic, and the court is currently determining whether the appeal should continue.
One of the published emails allegedly sent by Apple’s legal representatives – dated September 21 – stated that the game developer’s apps, such as its flagship game Fortnite, would not be allowed to return to the App Store until the US lawsuit was finalized.
Apple has exercised its discretion not to reinstate Epic’s development plan account at this time. In addition, Apple will not consider any further reinstatement requests until the district court judgment becomes final and without a call, ”the emails indicate.
The post referred to the mixed court ruling, claiming that Apple was within its right to terminate all Epic-related accounts from the App Store and is authorized not to reinstate Epic’s developer account.
In Sweeney’s tweets, he accused Apple of going back on its word to allow Epic Games to return to the App Store if it agreed to “play by the same rules”.
This was in reference to a statement emailed by an Apple spokesperson a fortnight ago: “As we said from the start, we would love to have Epic return to the App. Store if they agreed to play by the same rules as everyone else. Epic has admitted to having broken the contract and, at this time, there is no legitimate basis for reinstating their developer account. ”
“Apple lied,” Sweeney tweeted.
“Apple spent a year telling the world, the court, and the press that they would ‘welcome Epic’s return to the App Store if they agreed to play by the same rules as everyone else.” Epic a accepted, and now Apple has given up on yet another abuse of its monopoly power over a billion users. “
Other ramifications flowing from the US court ruling are that Epic’s attempt to return Fortnite to the South Korean App Store iOS is now on hold, as the company still does not have an iOS developer account. This is despite South Korea’s recent approval of laws requiring app marketplaces like the App Store to allow alternative payment methods.
The court ruling will also influence Epic Games’ other pending lawsuits around the world, such as two in Australia, which accuse Apple and Google of acting anti-competitively through their app store practices.