A district court denied Epic Games’ Request to temporarily restore Fortnite game in the iOS App Store, but also ordered Apple the game giant’s ability to deploy and distribute Unreal Engine in the iPhone maker’s ecosystem in a mixed judgment on Monday night, not to block.
U.S. District Court judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said Apple couldn̵
“The record shows potentially significant damage to both the Unreal Engine platform itself and the gaming industry in general, including both third-party developers and gamers,” she said, adding that while Epic Games was in violation of the App Store’s guidelines but did not violate Unreal Engine and developer tools contracts.
“Apple chose to act strictly, influencing non-parties and a third-party developer ecosystem,” said Rogers.
However, the verdict wasn’t a complete win for Epic Games, which had also requested the restoration of the Sleeper hit title Fortnite on the iOS App Store. Rogers said the game would stay out of the App Store unless Epic Games tried to bring it back according to the App Store’s guidelines.
Monday’s decision limits – for the time being – the public battle between the giants Apple and Epic Games over the basic rules of the iPhone App Store. Epic broke Apple and Google’s App Store guidelines earlier this month when Fortnite users on iOS and Android were given the option to pay for them directly.
Apple and Google require developers on their platforms to use their respective payment processing systems and pay a commission that is 30% of the transaction amount for games.
Epic’s move prompted Apple to remove Fortnite, perhaps the best-selling mobile game to date, from its app store. In anticipation of what Apple will do, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple minutes after Fortnite was removed from the App Store and launched one of its strangest – or daring (depending on who you ask) – marketing campaigns.
The following day, Apple announced to Epic Games that due to violations of the App Store guidelines and developer program license agreement, all developer tools would be revoked, excluding updates to other programs, including the Unreal Engine, until August 28th. Epic Games later filed a motion for an injunction against Apple.
Unreal Engine is a widely used suite of creation tools for game developers. In recent years, its offerings have become so compelling that it has been used in commercial films and TV shows like Disney + “The Mandalorian”.
Epic Games claimed last week that developers had already left Unreal Engine amid uncertainty about the future of the Apple ecosystem. Kevin Gammill, general manager of Gaming Developer Experiences at Microsoft, expressed his support for Epic in an additional filing attached to Epic’s request for an injunction over the weekend.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer also tweeted: “[…] We submitted a statement in support of Epic’s request to retain access to the Apple SDK for its Unreal Engine. It is the right thing for gamer developers and gamers to make sure Epic has access to the latest Apple technology. “
It should be noted that Microsoft and Apple are embroiled in their own side battle.