Apple has found an extravagant way to prevent the launch of Epic’s third-party iOS game store, which could have been launched in the EU thanks to the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Tim Cook’s company has again deleted Epic’s developer account, which was reinstated only a few weeks ago after years of litigation over Apple’s monopoly on in-app purchases, including games. The launch of the DMA provided Epic with an opportunity to re-launch Fortnite, as well as its own Epic Games Store on iOS, bypassing Apple. However, for now, these plans may be postponed, if not realized at all.

“We recently announced that Apple approved our Epic Games Sweden AB developer account. We intended to use that account to bring the Epic Games Store and Fortnite to iOS devices in Europe thanks to the Digital Markets Act (DMA). To our surprise, Apple has terminated that account and now we cannot develop the Epic Games Store for iOS. This is a serious violation of the DMA and shows Apple has no intention of allowing true competition on iOS devices.

If Apple maintains its power to kick a third party marketplace off iOS at its sole discretion, no reasonable developer would be willing to utilize a third party app store, because they could be permanently separated from their audience at any time,” Epic said in a statement.

Epic also reported that Apple cited public criticism of Epic’s proposed DMA compliance plan as the reason for the revocation of the developer’s account. This criticism was allegedly caused by Posts on the social network X by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney. In them he wrote the following:

“Many folks on here think of me as an Apple hater. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no other group of designers and engineers on earth who can build as great products as Apple when they are directed towards that end. The woes begin when they are directed not to.

Apple deleted the Epic developer account, the company will not be able to launch its own iOS game store yet

Apple leadership faces some massive decisions in the coming weeks as the contradictions between their stated principles and the intended and actual consequences of their present policies are reckoned with: the app store monopoly, the digital goods payments monopoly, the tax, the suppression of true information about competing purchasing options, the blocking of competing web browser engines and outright destruction of web apps.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Apple is a few bold and visionary decisions away from being the company they once were and that they still advertise themselves to be: beloved brand to consumers, partner to developers, and overlord to none.

Epic believes that Apple is taking revenge on them for speaking out against what they consider to be an unfair company policy.

Apple itself provided the following explanation for its actions against Epic:

“Epic’s egregious breach of its contractual obligations to Apple led courts to determine that Apple has the right to terminate ‘any or all of Epic Games’ wholly owned subsidiaries, affiliates, and/or other entities under Epic Games’ control at any time and at Apple’s sole discretion.’”

It seems that we will see a continuation of the legal dispute between Apple and Epic, which has already reached a personal level, judging by the way both companies publicly comment on recent events.