The feud between two of the largest tech giants in the world, Apple and Epic Games, has shaken up the gaming industry, and it looks like both companies aren’t considering taking a step back.
Shortly after Apple announced that it would terminate all of Epic’s developer accounts, the developer countered with a court request, and Microsoft filed a new declaration today, supporting Epic’s initial claims.
Epic initially mentioned that its loss of access to Apple’s Software Development Kit (SDK) and similar development tools would prevent them from supporting Unreal Engine on iOS and macOS, putting any developer in a weird position that has a game built upon the engine. Microsoft stated that this could create a significant disadvantage in terms of competition.
Considering the clash between Apple and Epic prolongs, some developers may be forced to use other game engines for different platforms to avoid losing their playerbases. Microsoft’s declaration says that such a way would be less than ideal since it would be a “prohibitively expensive and a difficult” process alongside being not cost-effective.
Microsoft then gives an example concerning its current state in the feud, and refers that game developers, just like itself, need to “choose game engines based both on the functionality they provide as well as their ability to support development for multiple platforms.”
Epic’s inability to support Unreal Engine could lead Microsoft and other game developers to make a decision between “abandoning its existing and potential customers on iOS and macOS platforms,” according to Microsoft. While choosing another game engine is always possible, it isn’t a feasible solution for existing games since companies would need to start from scratch to switch game engines.
Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, also showed his support and concerns shortly after Microsoft’s declaration became available online. Spencer said that Epic having access to Apple’s latest technology is the “right thing” to do both for gamers and game developers.
Though it looks like game developers will get profoundly affected if Apple chooses not to backtrack its decision, gamers will suffer drastically as well. Most gamers won’t have the option to switch devices to play their favorite games, meaning that their time investment so far may go down the drain if developers can’t continue to support their games.