The judge rules against Fortnite, but for Unreal Engine, in an Apple skirmish Epic
The court ruling means that Apple's App Store ban against Epic Games' Fortnite may remain in effect but the Unreal Engine development tools cannot be blocked.
You win some, and you lose some. That accounts for the latest court decision in the ongoing battle between Epic Games and Apple.
On Monday, a California district court judge ruled on Epic's move for a temporary restraining order against Apple following an iPhone maker's decision to ban the Epic Fortnite game from its App Store. Apple dropped the app after Epic tried to offer users a direct payment option to purchase V-Bucks for Fortnite in-app purchases. Such an option cuts Apple out as a guest and middleman of the App Store, for which it gets as much as a 30% slice of revenue.
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In her decision, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled against Epic's request for a pre-order that would force Apple to return Fortnite to the App Store. Responding to Epic's assertion that the ban creates "unsustainable damage" to the company, Judge Gonzalez Rogers said that "self-inflicted injuries are not unsustainable injuries." In short, Epic created a prediction made by circumventing Apple developer rules and that any injury he suffers is by choice.
Speaking to the direct payment system set up by Epic for Fortnite V-Bucks, the judge said that the company has admitted that they have the technology to solve the problem by deactivating this method. .
"[T]it makes sense to move on [Epic to comply with the agreements and guidelines] and continued to work while building a record, "ruling the judge." Epic Games would prefer not to sue in that context for 'unsustainable harm'. "
On the positive side for Epic and for game developers, Judge Gonzalez Rogers was also ruling against Apple's threatening actions that could undermine Epic's Unreal Engine. Last week, Apple promised to cancel an Epic developer account for the game development platform, which would have cut support for technology used by many game developers.
In her decision on the Unreal Engine case, the judge found that the ban could cause significant damage to both the platform itself and the game industry in general, including developers and gamers. While Epic Games and Apple may be suing each other, their controversy should not affect standers, according to the ruling.
"Apple does not claim that its injury will be based on any impediment to the removal of the developer 's devices," said Judge Gonzalez Rogers. "The controversy of the parties is easy to get chatted about the allegations against trust against the App Store. It does not need to go any further. Apple has chosen to work hard, and in doing so, has influenced non-parties, and a third-party developer ecosystem In this regard, the similarities weigh against Apple. "
The ruling of the adjudicated judge is a provisional decision as long as both parties prepare to submit further motions and responses to motions beyond the convictions. asked Epic. Following the actions expected through most of September, a full hearing on the first warrant is set for September 28th.
"We thank the court for acknowledging that the Epic problem is completely self - inflicted and in the power of a solution," Apple said in a statement shared with TechRepublic.
“Our first priority is to ensure that App Store users have a great experience in a safe and reliable environment, including iPhone users who play Fortnite and are looking forward to it. next season in the game, "the statement continued." We agree with Judge Gonzalez Rogers that 'the sensible way forward' is for Epic to follow the App Store's instructions and keep working while the case will proceed. If Epic takes the steps recommended by the judge, we warmly welcome Fortnite back on iOS. We look forward to taking our case to court in September. "
Epic did not immediately respond to TechRepublic's request for comment.
"I think the judge did the right thing under the circumstances," Lewis Ward, IDC's director of research on gaming, eSports and VR / AR, told TechRepublic.
“Fortnite violated the terms and conditions of the iOS App Store and Google Play, not Unreal Engine or any other app or service provided by Epic and its subsidiaries,” Ward said. "For now, that's the right call in my opinion because rendering Unreal Engine redundant on Apple's hardware platforms is an unfair response to the App Store policy violations in the Fortnite alone was involved.This fight is just warming up.By bringing up Sherman's antitrust and other allegations of state rivalry against Apple, Epic fired a bullet across Apple's bow and Apple responded with a nuclear threat that has been relentlessly arrested. "
This article was updated with additional comments.