CARY – After Epic Games refused to remove its direct payment option for in-game purchases, Apple followed through with its threat of removing the publisher of the globally popular Fortnite’s account at the App Store.

“We are disappointed that we have had to terminate the Epic Games account on the ‌App Store‌,” Apple said in a statement Friday evening.

“We have worked with the team at Epic Games for many years on their launches and releases. The court recommended that Epic comply with the ‌App Store‌ guidelines while their case moves forward, guidelines they’ve followed for the past decade until they created this situation. Epic has refused. Instead they repeatedly submit Fortnite updates designed to violate the guidelines of the ‌App Store‌. This is not fair to all other developers on the ‌App Store‌ and is putting customers in the middle of their fight. We hope that we can work together again in the future, but unfortunately that is not possible today.”

On Thursday, Epic said to comply with Apple’s demand that the direct payment feature be removed, saying to do so would be “to collude with Apple to maintain their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS,” Reuters reported.

“Apple is asking that Epic revert Fortnite to exclusively use Apple payments,” Epic said in a blog post.

“Their proposal is an invitation for Epic to collude with Apple to maintain their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS, suppressing free market competition and inflating prices. As a matter of principle, we won’t participate in this scheme.”

Epic has sued both Apple and Google about how purchases made at the app stores of both tech giants are regulated.

Apple’s move has immediate consequences.

“Epic no longer has the option to submit apps or updates through its developer account and in-app purchases in the Fortnite app will no longer be a functional option for Fortnite players,” MacRumors reports.

“Apple says that disabling in-app purchases will protect users as Fortnite’s new season launches as Epic had been directing users to Apple’s support staff to get purchase refunds.”

However, Apple in obedience to a restraining order from a federal court, has not made any moves regarding access to Epic’s Unreal game engine and related developer tools.

Epic confirms Fortnite’s new season won’t be on iPhone, iPad, or Mac