Judge saves Unreal Engine in Apple vs. Epic dispute

By FileTrekker 3 years ago, last updated 3 years ago

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll have heard by now that Epic Games recently declared war on Apple (and, to a lesser extent, Google) over the tech giant's terms and conditions when it comes to monetary transactions on their app store - to put it simply, Apple wants a 30% cut, and Epic wants to keep the lot.

Epic Games silently pushed an update to the popular Battle Royale Fornite which allowed players to bypass the Apple store and pay Epic directly for microtransactions at a lower price. Apple quickly responded by taking the game down from all iOS platforms, and subsequently threatened to remove Epic's access to its developer tools.

The side-effect of this almighty spat was that any game developed in Unreal Engine, regardless of if it was developed by Epic Games or not, could no longer be updated or supported, effectively rendering it dead. Epic filed a restraining order against Apple as a result, arguing that the damage of the move would cause "irreparable harm."

In a small victory for Epic Games, US district judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers agreed and has granted the restraining order forbidding Apple from denying Epic Games access to its developer accounts or denying any updates to the Unreal Engine on Apple's platforms.

Judge Rogers ruled that such a move would cause "potential significant damage to both the Unreal Engine platform itself, and to the gaming industry generally, including on both third-party developers and gamers."

This doesn't mean Fortnite will be returning to iOS, though, with the judge ruling that the situation was of Epic's "own making," meaning the saga isn't over just yet. The case to decide which party is ultimately right is due to be held in Spring 2021, however, lawyers from both Apple and Epic will reconvene on the 28th of September to argue over a preliminary injunction to decide whether Fortnite should remain on Apple's store in the interim.


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