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Apple caves, reinstates Epic Games dev account two days after ban

Published Mar 8th, 2024 1:29PM EST
Epic Games Store logo.
Image: Epic Games

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A few days after the Epic Games’ EU developer account ban, Apple reinstated it amid pressure from European Union regulators. Previously, the Cupertino firm had banned one Epic Games developer account due to the company’s CEO calling Apple’s compliance with the Digital Markets Act “hot garbage,” “horror show,” and a “devious new instance of Malicious Compliance.”

This reverse move was first reported by Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman. According to him, Apple will restore the developer’s account so Epic can release its own app store in the European Union. As part of the Digital Markets Act, Apple must allow third-party marketplaces to be available on the iPhone in the region.

The information was confirmed by Epic in a blog post:

Apple has told us and committed to the European Commission that they will reinstate our developer account. This sends a strong signal to developers that the European Commission will act swiftly to enforce the Digital Markets Act and hold gatekeepers accountable. We are moving forward as planned to launch the Epic Games Store and bring Fortnite back to iOS in Europe. Onward!

Epic Games promised to be good, and Apple needs to say it believes

Tim Cook at WWDC 2021Image source: Apple

For those unaware, a few days ago, Epic published a blog post saying Cupertino has terminated its developer account in the EU. While Apple approved Epic’s Sweden dev account, Cupertino regretted this decision and terminated Epic’s account. In a blog post, Epic called this a “serious violation of the DMA and shows Apple has no intention of allowing true competition on iOS devices.”

Still, the reasons why Apple revoked the developer account were clear. In this post, Epic Games attached a few screenshots with messages between the company’s CEO, Tim Sweeney, and Apple’s top executive, Phil Schiller. In one of those messages, Schiller wrote:

“In the past, Epic has entered into agreements with Apple and then broken them. For example, you testified that Epic Games, Inc. entered into the Developer Program with full understanding of its terms, and then chose to intentionally breach the agreement with Apple. You also testified that Epic deliberately violated Apple’s rules, to make a point and for financial gain. More recently, you have described our DMA compliance plan as “hot garbage,” a “horror show,” and a “devious new instance of Malicious Compliance.” And you have complained about what you called “Junk Fees” and “Apple taxes,” he wrote. “Please, tell us why we should trust Epic Games this time?”

Wrap up

With the fear of a backlash from the European Commission and a recent $2 billion fine after being accused of not playing by the game’s rules with Spotify, it’s clear why Apple decided to reinstate Epic Games account. We still have to see whether the Fortnite maker will comply with the rules.

One thing is certain: The feud between the two companies is far from over.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.