In the latest development of what's shaping up to be an epic fight between Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Epic Games, the tech giant has terminated the developer's account on the App Store. All Epic Games titles, including its incredibly popular Fortnite, have been removed from the software purchasing platform.
Apple said that this was being done in line with its App Store policies. In accordance with those guidelines, Apple gave Epic Games 14 days to modify Fortnite to conform with its rules, or else its account would be eliminated. Since the developer did not comply, Apple proceeded with the termination.
Referencing a judge's ruling in an antitrust lawsuit brought by Epic Games against it, Apple wrote in a statement issued Friday and widely disseminated in the media that "[t]he court recommended that Epic comply with the App Store guidelines while their case moves forward, guidelines they've followed for the past decade until they created this situation. Epic has refused."
The company added that Epic instead "repeatedly submit[s] Fortnite updates designed to violate the guidelines of the App Store. This is not fair to all other developers on the App Store and is putting customers in the middle of their fight."
In response, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney wrote in a tweet that "Apple's statement isn't forthright. They chose to terminate Epic's account; they didn't *have* to."
The dispute between the two companies started earlier this month, when Epic Games added a direct pay option for in-game merchandise to the iOS version of Fortnite. This circumvented the App Store's mandated cut of the revenue earned by apps, which can be as high as 30%. Fortnite was promptly removed from the mobile marketplace.