Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

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

Epic Games viral '1984' ad campaign against Apple

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

What a difference two days can make. Less than 48 hours after Epic disclosed that it hadn't guaranteed that it would follow Apple's rules to Apple's satisfaction, Apple has reversed course because Epic has now said that it will comply.

"Following conversations with Epic, they have committed to follow the rules, including our [Digital Markets Act] policies," Apple said in a statement to AppleInsider. "As a result, Epic Sweden AB has been permitted to re-sign the developer agreement and accepted into the Apple Developer Program."

According to Epic on Friday, Apple will reinstate the account it set up that the company will use to launch a third-party App Store in the European Union.

"Apple has told us and committed to the European Commission that they will reinstate our developer account. This sends a strong signal to developers that the European Commission will act swiftly to enforce the Digital Markets Act and hold gatekeepers accountable. We are moving forward as planned to launch the Epic Games Store and bring Fortnite back to iOS in Europe. Onward!"

This comes after one European Union official said that they prioritized looking into the matter on behalf of Epic, and a creator of the Digital Markets Act said that Apple was looking for trouble and asking to be first penalized under the terms of the law.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney chimed in on the matter in a post on X, but it appears that a "swift inquiry" cited by Sweeney wasn't the reason behind the restoration.

Apple canceled the Epic Games developer account in August 2020, after the gaming firm violated App Store agreements in what turned out to be the start of a years-old legal battle. Apple wanted to remove all of Epic's developer accounts, but a judge insisted that removing its Unreal Engine account would have harmful effects on its countless users.

Epic had asked Apple to allow it a developer account when it wanted to sell apps in Korea. Apple refused. The company said that it would only allow Epic Games back when it "agree[s] to play by the same rules as everyone else."

Then while Epic Games its legal case against Apple, the EU introduced the Digital Markets Act. As a consequence, Apple has had to allow for alternative app stores within the region.

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

"Apple recently reached out directly to Mr. Sweeney to give him an opportunity to explain why Apple should trust Epic this time and allow Epic Games Sweden AB to become an active developer. Mr. Sweeney's response to that request was wholly insufficient and not credible," Apple's attorneys said, in a statement cited by Epic on Wednesday. "It boiled down to an unsupported 'trust us.' History shows, however, that Epic is verifiably untrustworthy, hence the request for meaningful commitments."

It's not clear when Epic's iOS App Store will open.