Microsoft have filed a statement of support of Epic Games in the latter's attempt to fend off Apple from punishing Unreal Engine for Fortnite's transgressions.
Epic's attempt to circumvent Apple's payment systems in Fortnite iOS resulted in retaliation that focused on the company's access to developer tools. Epic filed a restraining order insisting that Apple is unjustly punishing the company, and this is where Microsoft's response comes in.
In the statement filed at the Northern District of California Court, general manager of gaming developer experiences at Microsoft Kevin Gammill spoke at length about the technology behind Epic's engine, its widespread use and the convenience of multiplatform development.
"If Unreal Engine cannot support games for iOS or macOS, Microsoft would be required to choose between abandoning its customers and potential customers on the iOS and macOS platforms or choosing a different game engine when preparing to develop new games", he points out.
The statement goes on saying that Apple's discontinuation of Unreal Engine's iOS support would put UE at a "material disadvantage" in Microsoft's and most other developers' plans for future development. Even uncertainty over the engine would be sufficient to cause many devs to reconsider.
Moreover, the statement reminds that game creators in the latter stages of development would be left with a choice of starting anew in a new engine, or abandoning the platform.
Existing games built in Unreal Engine would be affected as well, as there would be no way to get the new features onto the platform, ultimately creating a bunch of problems for everyone who depends on the engine.
You can find Microsoft's full statement over here .