Epic Games says Apple has "retaliated furiously" for its lawsuit in a dispute over Fortnite. Epic says Apple has told it that by August 28, it "will cut off Epic's access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple’s platforms," including the Unreal Engine software used in many games in the App Store, CNBC reports. Epic's lawyers say the move, which represents an "existential threat" to the software, is Apple's retaliation for Epic's attempt to "break its monopoly on app stores and in-app payments." Epic's lawyers filed a motion Monday to block the move, saying it is "necessary to prevent Apple from crushing Epic before this case could ever get to judgment," VentureBeat reports.
Epic filed lawsuits against Apple and Google last week after the tech giants removed hit game "Fortnite" from their app stores in a dispute over in-game currency. The companies said Epic had violated their guidelines by allowing players to buy the currency directly from the company, depriving Apple and Google of the 30% cut they receive from in-game transactions. Chaim Gartenberg at the Verge notes that with iPhone sales slowing down, the "Apple tax" has become a vital source of revenue for Apple. In 2019, almost 40% of Apple's service revenue came from its percentage of digital content sold through the App Store. "So when Apple squares off over 'Fortnite,' it’s not just fighting over one app or one policy," Gartenberg writes. "It’s protecting one of the key sources of revenue in the years to come—a source it could lose permanently if Epic comes out on top. (Read more Apple stories.)