But by taking on Apple so directly and publicly, Epic — a 29-year-old privately held company worth $17.3 billion and based in Cary, N.C. — may be in for the fight of its life. Apple has a market capitalization of nearly $2 trillion and almost unlimited resources. Last month, it cut off its support for Epic’s Unreal Engine, a software development tool that thousands of developers use. That took the smaller company by surprise.
“We recognized the theoretical possibility in advance, but thought it would be so foolish of” Apple to cut off Unreal Engine, Tim Sweeney, Epic’s founder and chief executive, said in an interview last week.
In court on Monday, Judge Gonzalez Rogers sharply criticized Epic’s decision last month to break with Apple’s payment rules. “There are plenty of people in the public who consider you guys heroes for what you did, but it’s still not honest,” she