U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has declared late Monday night that Apple will not have to “immediately reinstate” Epic Games’ mega-popular battle royal game, Fortnite, onto its App Store.
However, it’s worth noting that the judge also permitted the Fortnite developers’ request to block Apple from limiting the game developer’s ability to provide Unreal Engine and key graphics technology to other apps for the time being. She stated how Apple’s wishes to restrict Unreal Engine usage in the wake of this lawsuit would hurt third-party developers that utilize Epic Games’ technology. Judge Rogers added how, although Apple and Epic Games are allowed to prosecute each other, their dispute “should not create havoc to bystanders.”
Both rulings are only temporary, and Rogers was firm in declaring that the case is far from being a “slam dunk” for either company. Although now in effect, Rogers promised the court’s current rulings would not “dictate the final outcome of the litigation.” A further hearing is currently scheduled to take place on Sept. 28. With the imminent release of Fortnite‘s Chapter 2, Season 4, it appears as though gamers who play Fortnite via Apple’s iOS-based iPhone and iPads won’t be able to update the game to enjoy the action unless a sudden new agreement can be reached between the two companies.
The lawsuit between Apple and Epic Games revolves around Epic Games’ decision to forego Apple’s 30% levy for in-app purchases. The gaming company breached Apple’s Terms of Service after introducing its own in-app payment option for the game’s V-Bucks. This bypassed the App Store’s take for each purchase made.
In response, Apple removed the free-to-play game from the App Store. The tech giant additionally recently intimated how Epic Games is to be blamed for its current troubles in an official court filing. It stressed how “Developers who work to deceive Apple, as Epic has done here, are terminated” before highlighting how Epic Games “willfully and knowingly” breached the in-game agreements with its actions. According to Apple, Epic Games’ decisions were made with full awareness of the negative impact it would cause on game players and developers.
When Fortnite first provided gamers with the purchasing alternative, Epic Games had primed a trailer that took obvious inspiration from Apple’s own “1984” Macintosh advertisement. The commercial, first released in 1984, was aimed at its competitor at the time, IBM, and the stranglehold monopoly it had over the computing market. Epic Games’ premeditated response had the same message, only this time it suggested that Apple had become everything it once strived to fight against.
The intentions of the tongue-in-cheek trailer were made all the more apparent with its closing sentiment: “Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices. Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming ‘1984’.” Epic Games has since offered fans Apple-themed parody items in the game in its attempts to continue jabbing at Apple and its stance.