© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc logo is seen hanging at the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in New York
By Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) – Epic Games said on Monday it was seeking to block Apple Inc (NASDAQ:)’s removal of “Fortnite” from its app store and has asked a judge to prevent any retaliatory action against its other games in the store.
The videogame maker also said Apple will terminate all of Epic Games’ developer accounts and cut it off from its development tools starting Aug. 28.
In addition to making its own titles, Epic also makes tools for other game developers such as the Unreal Engine, which helps game developers create three-dimensional graphics. The tool is also used by medical imaging companies and car designers and is used by millions of developers, Epic said.
In its filing, Epic alleged that if Apple cuts off its access to Apple’s developers, it will be unable to keep offering the Unreal Engine for Mac and iPhone operating systems, which would in turn affect hundreds of game titles. Some of the games, such as PUBG, have hundreds of millions of players, Epic wrote in its filing.
“The effects will reverberate well beyond video games; it will affect developers who use the Unreal Engine on Apple products in many fields,” Epic said in its filing asking the court to issue an order blocking Apple’s move. “The ensuing impact on the Unreal Engine’s viability, and the trust and confidence developers have in that engine, cannot be repaired with a monetary award.”
Apple did not return a request for comment.
Apple earlier removed “Fortnite” from its app store for violating in-app payment guidelines prompting Epic to file federal lawsuits challenging the rule.
Epic rolled out a social media campaign with the hashtag #FreeFortnite, urging players to seek refunds from Apple if they lose access to the game, and creating a parody of Apple’s famous “1984” television ad.
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