Image: Epic Games

The US District Court has made one of its first big decisions in the case between Epic Games and Apple.

Previously, we learned that Apple had threatened to remove Epic’s developer accounts for iOS and macOS, which would have had grave implications for Unreal Engine and its developers. Luckily for Epic, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers thinks that Apple’s retaliation was excessive and uncalled for.

Documents filed yesterday confirm that Epic Games has won its restraining order.

“The record shows potential significant damage to both the Unreal Engine platform itself, and to the gaming industry generally, including on both third-party developers and gamers,” an analysis reads.

“APPLE AND ALL PERSONS IN ACTIVE CONCERT OR PARTICIPATION WITH APPLE, ARE TEMPORARILY RESTRAINED from taking adverse action against Epic Games with respect to restricting, suspending or terminating any affiliate of Epic Games, such as Epic International, from Apple’s Developer Program, including as to Unreal Engine, on the basis that Epic Games enabled in-app payment processing in Fortnite through means other than IAP or on the basis of the steps Epic took to do so.”

But Epic Games’s victory is just a partial one. In regards to Fornite, Rogers decided in favor of Apple, which suggests that we won’t be seeing the battle royale hit return to iOS anytime soon unless Epic’s lawyers come up with something convincing.

“The Court finds that with respect to Epic Games’ motion as to its games, including Fortnite, Epic Games has not yet demonstrated irreparable harm,” the judge wrote. “The current predicament appears of its own making.”

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4 Comments

  1. I’m curious as to the reasoning behind that judgement. It is a slippery slope if you can force companies to resell your product.
    1. The level of reading comprehension these days worries me.
      The court didn’t force Apple to resell anything. They forced apple to abide by their terms. So fortnite is still banned, but their punitive retaliation of banning their developer accounts was restrained by the courts.

      Which is as it should be. When they don’t like the way one of my company’s apps work, they don’t let us push it out to people. They don’t revoke our developer accounts and they certainly don’t go doing irreparable harm to vast swaths of the development community.

  2. That was fast?

    I expected this to drag on forever.

    I’m curious as to the reasoning behind that judgement. It is a slippery slope if you can force companies to resell your product.

    If I had to guess, the court ruled it was ok for Apple to suspend Epic based on their violation of Apples terms, but accepted the argument that Epic’s engine customers shouldn’t have to pay for it.

  3. That was fast?

    I expected this to drag on forever.

    If I had to guess, the court ruled it was ok for Apple to suspend Epic based on their violation of Apples terms, but accepted the argument that Epic’s engine customers shouldn’t have to pay for it.

    This was just a decision on the preliminary injunction Epic tried to hoist on Apple. The primary lawsuit brought against Apple is still a long way from being decided.

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