A judge denied Apple’s attempt to revoke Epic Games’ developer accounts late Tuesday evening by means of an injunction. However, the judge also said that Apple can continue to ban Fortnite from the App Store for violating the store’s rules.
An Apple spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
On August 17, Apple threatened to suspend Epic Games’ developer accounts effective August 28, which meant that Epic could not develop or sell games through Apple̵
Apple’s threat also meant that Epic Games would not be able to develop for the Unreal Engine that Epic Games offers to other developers who create games on the platform. At the time, Epic Games said the move was “an attack on Epic’s entire business in unrelated areas.”
At least for now, the court agrees in this regard.
In the injunction, Judge Yvonne Gonzelez Rogers said that “in relation to Epic Games’ motion in relation to its games, including Fortnite, Epic Games has not yet shown any irreparable harm” and that “the current situation appears to be of its own do. “
A rep for Epic Games was not immediately available for comment.
However, the court said that Epic Games was able to show that revoking its developer tools would cause irreparable damage. “Epic International appears to have separate developer program licensing agreements with Apple, and those agreements have not been violated,” the court said of Epic’s broader accounts used for Unity and other developments.
“The dispute between the parties can easily be limited to the antitrust allegations relating to the App Store. It does not have to go any further,” the court said. “Apple has chosen to be strict, influencing non-parties and a third-party developer ecosystem.”
“The recording shows potentially significant damage both to the Unreal Engine platform itself and to the gaming industry in general, including both third-party developers and gamers,” the court argued. “Epic Games and Apple are free to argue against each other, but their argument should not harm those bystanders. Of course, the status should be maintained during the time of an injunction.”
The lawsuit is expected to last many months, if not years. A full hearing is scheduled for Monday September 28th.