Apple now sees Unreal Engine as a potential second Trojan horse

The drama between Apple and Epic Games has not yet subsided as the two await their day in court. Epic Games is still pushing for an injunction that will allow Fortnite to return to iOS, including the new direct payment option that started this whole situation. Apple, on the other hand, is also pushing to practically block Unreal Engine on iOS, this time by halting its development in the interest of keeping iOS devices secure and uncompromised.

That's a rather big claim to make considering how Epic Games' Unreal Engine is used in thousands of games, big and small, on dozens of platforms. Once upon a time, it was even Apple's poster boy to advertise the superiority of the iPhone's graphics engine, something Android would only be able to enjoy a few years later. Now it has practically called the Unreal Engine as a potential second Trojan horse, a backdoor through which Epic can inject features that subvert Apple's security.

Apple's argument is based on how it doesn't have any direct control over the Unreal Engine itself and, just like what it did with Fortnite, Epic could use it to bypass iOS security or App Store policies for its own gain. In fact, having it in the Unreal Engine could empower other app developers to do likewise. The problem with Apple's line of thinking, other than the technical exaggeration, is that the same would hold true for other game engines on iOS, like the popular Unity 3D.

Then again, Apple doesn't hide the fact that it is singling out Epic Games and tells the court it should be given the ability to punish what is now one of its most disruptive developers ever. Having been retrained from closing accounts of Unreal Engine developers on iOS, Apple is arguing that Epic will be able to simply transfer apps from one developer account to another and play a shell game that many companies, like Apple, are so familiar with.

The company insists that it isn't running a monopoly since there are other ways for developers to monetize their apps that don't have to go through Apple's payment system and tax. Of course, none of those are as direct and convenient and some, like ads, are more likely to turn users off. As for Epic Games' claims that it has suffered reputational harm from Fortnite's removal from the App Store, Apple practically says Epic is the one that's making all the drama in the first place.