Under pressure, Apple will restore Epic Games developer account in the EU

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Epic has committed to not violating Apple's App Store rules and DMA policies, and now both Apple and Epic Games say Epic's third-party app store developer account will be reinstated.

What a difference two days can make. Less than 48 hours after Epic said it didn't guarantee it would follow Apple's rules to Apple's satisfaction, Apple reversed course as Epic now said it would comply.

“After conversations with Epic, they have committed to following the rules, including our [Digital Markets Act] policies,” Apple said in a statement to AppleInsider. “As a result, Epic Sweden AB was allowed to re-sign with the developer and be accepted into the Apple Developer Program.”

Apple will reinstate the account it created, which the company will use to launch a third-party App Store in the European Union, Epic said Friday.

“Apple has informed us and committed to the European Commission to reinstate our developer account. This sends a strong signal to developers that the European Commission will act quickly to enforce the Digital Markets Act and hold controllers accountable . . We are moving forward as planned with the launch of the Epic Games Store and the return of Fortnite on iOS in Europe. Go! “

This comes after a European Union official said they were prioritizing attention to studying this issue on behalf of Epic and the creator of the Digital Markets Act said that Apple is looking for trouble and asks to be punished first in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney weighed in on the matter in a post on X, but it appears that the “quick investigation” Sweeney cited was not the reason for the restoration.

Apple terminated Epic Games' developer account in August 2020 after the gaming firm violated App Store agreements, the start of a years-long legal battle. Apple wanted to remove all Epic developer accounts, but a judge insisted that removing its Unreal Engine account would have a detrimental effect on its countless users.

Epic asked Apple to give it a developer account when it wanted to sell apps in Korea. Apple refused. The company said it would only allow Epic Games to return if it “agreed to play by the same rules as everyone else.”

Then, while Epic Games was pursuing legal action against Apple, the EU introduced the Digital Markets Act. As a result, Apple had to allow alternative app stores in the region.

Epic almost immediately announced its intention to open a third-party App Store. When Apple closed the account on Wednesday, its lawyers made clear why.

“Apple recently reached out to Mr. Sweeney directly to give him the opportunity to explain why Apple should trust Epic this time around and allow Epic Games Australia AB to become an active developer. Mr. Sweeney's response to this “The request was completely insufficient and not credible,” Apple's lawyers said in a statement quoted by Epic on Wednesday. “It all boiled down to an unsubstantiated 'trust us.' However, history shows that Epic is clearly unreliable, hence the request for meaningful commitment.”

It is unknown when Epic's iOS App Store will open.

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