The legal battle between Apple and Epic has just escalated. A tweet from Epic's official Newsroom feed has revealed Apple will be terminating all of Epic's developer accounts on August 28th, preventing the company from any future work for iOS or Macintosh platforms. Epic has responded by filing for a temporary restraining order to prevent Apple from doing so.
Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store and has informed Epic that on Friday, August 28 Apple will terminate all our developer accounts and cut Epic off from iOS and Mac development tools. We are asking the court to stop this retaliation. Details here: https://t.co/3br1EHmyd8
— Epic Games Newsroom (@EpicNewsroom) August 17, 2020
The tweet also contains a link to a PDF copy of the restraining order request.
Last week, Apple kicked Epic's wildly successful game Fortnite off the App Store after Epic implemented a direct payment system that bypassed Apple's required 30% cut of all transactions. Google did the same thing shortly afterward, though the game can still be "side-loaded" on Android devices. In response, Epic filed suit against both Apple and Google.
Assuming that the restraining order is not granted, and Apple does, in fact, terminate Epic's access to iOS/macOS developer tools, the effects of this action will be rippling out far beyond Fortnite. Without access to the developer tools, Epic will not be able to make any updates to the Unreal engine to keep it compatible with those operating systems.
Consequently, any apps created by developers other than Epic will eventually be unable to remain compatible with the most recent versions of iOS and macOS, which will force them to either remove the apps or attempt to recreate their apps in another engine such as Unity or Godot. And given the short turnaround times for updated versions of iOS, that threshold is probably going to be approaching far sooner than anybody expects.