For a decade, Apple executives showed Epic Games the kind of love they reserve for only a precious few software developers.
In 2010, Steve Jobs, then Apple’s CEO, praised a new Epic sword-fighting game for iPhones as “pretty remarkable” at an Apple event, before inviting executives from the company to demonstrate it onstage. In the years to come, Apple executives repeatedly gave Epic coveted slots during keynote speeches at Apple events, including one that showed off a whimsical Epic battle game called Fortnite then under development. For Epic, the appearances were great advertisements for its work, while for Apple, Epic showcased the kind of cutting-edge software that helped it sell new devices.
By this month, though, the relationship between Apple and Epic had turned so poisonous that Epic’s CEO, Tim Sweeney, told his counterparts at Apple that the company had become a tech industry autocrat.