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Microsoft Sides With Epic In Legal Battle Against Apple, Says Starving Unreal Engine Harms Developers, Gamers

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) filed a motion Sunday in support of Epic Games Inc., as the latter fights a legal battle with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:

Benzinga · 08/24/2020 03:31

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) filed a motion Sunday in support of Epic Games Inc., as the latter fights a legal battle with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) over access to developer tools.

What Happened: Kevin Gammill, general manager of Microsoft’s gaming developer experiences, said the Wisconsin-based company’s Unreal Engine was “critical technology” for game makers, and its loss would put his company and others at a “substantial disadvantage.”

The executive said that the Redmond, Washington-based technology giant had an enterprise-wide, multi-year, license agreement for Unreal Engine, and had “invested significant resources and engineer time” on the tool.

Gammill claimed that needing to use a different engine to develop games for each platform would be “prohibitively expensive and difficult.” 

Why It Matters: If Unreal Engine can't support iOS or macOS, Microsoft may be required to choose between abandoning its current or future customers on these platforms or choosing a different engineer, Gammill said.

Epic sought an injunction last week against the iPhone maker after the latter terminated its developer accounts.

The gaming company is also suing Apple separately over the removal of its popular “Fortnite” game, in a matter related to a 30% cut the Cupertino-based company keeps from in-game purchases.

Both Microsoft’s and Facebook Inc’s (NASDAQ:FB) plans to launch gaming apps on the App Store were unsuccessful as they allegedly fell foul of the iPhone maker’s marketplace policies.

Price Action: Microsoft shares closed nearly 0.7% lower at $213.02 on Friday and gained almost 0.7% in the after-hours session. Apple shares closed 5.15% higher at $497.48 the same day.