Unreal Engine Can Stay, But Not Fortnite: Epic vs Apple Judge

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A US judge has handed Apple a partial victory in its court battle with video game developer Epic Games, ruling it does not have to immediately reinstate Fortnite to the App Store.

US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers was unconvinced by Epic’s arguments that it has been dealt “irreparable harm” to its reputation from Apple’s removal of Fortnite from the storefront, which followed the developer circumventing Apple’s 30% fee on subscriptions and in-app purchases by adding an alternative payment option to its app.

“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 current predicament appears of its own making,” Rogers wrote, noting that Epic filed its action and began a “pre-planned and blistering” marketing campaign against Apple on the same day as Fortnite was removed.

However, Rogers has barred Apple from blocking Epic’s developer tools including Unreal Engine, and issued a temporary restraining order to that effect citing “potential significant damage” to Unreal Engine and to the gaming industry as a whole.

“Not only has the underlying agreement not been breached, but the economy is in dire need of increasing avenues for creativity and innovation, not eliminating them. Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate against each other, but their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders,” she wrote.

The next hearing will take place on September 28.

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