It looks like battle lines are going to be drawn between Epic Games and Apple, as Microsoft has filed a statement of support. Xbox Head Phil Spencer dropped the news on Twitter along with a link to the statement in which they show full support toward the Fortnite developer. The statement will go with Epic's lawsuit against the company after they pulled the Fortnite app from the platform. You can read part of the statement below in which they address the need for the company's Unreal Engine in their products as well as for many other game developers.
Epic Games' Unreal Engine is critical technology for numerous game creators including Microsoft.
Game engines provide creators with a development environment that delivers the necessary graphics, rendering, physics, sound, networking, and other technologies that enable them to build games that run on multiple platforms. Although some large game creators choose to develop their own proprietary game engines, many others, including small and independent game creators, utilize game engines built by and licensed from third parties. Many of these creators do not have the resources or capabilities to build their own game engines and rely on the availability of third-party game engines, while other creators may choose to use third-party game engines to save development costs and utilize already-developed technologies.
As a result, Epic's Unreal Engine is one of the most popular third-party game engines available to game creators, and in Microsoft's view there are very few other options available for creators to license with as many features and as much functionality as Unreal Engine across multiple platforms, including iOS. Microsoft has an enterprise-wide, multi-year Unreal Engine license agreement and has invested significant resources and engineer time working with and customizing Unreal Engine for its own games on PC, Xbox consoles, and mobile devices (including iOS devices).