Apple doesn't have to send Fortnite back to the App Store (yet), but won't be able to restrict Epic's account, judge says
The Epic Games v Apple case will not be resolved overnight. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who is handling the case, has scheduled a full hearing for September 28, where both sides can present all their legal arguments. Meanwhile, a temporary restraining order against Apple has been imposed, but also significantly harms Epic Games.
Apple will not be able to restrict the use of Unreal Engine on its platforms or close the Epic Games developer account on the App Store, something the parents of Fortnite have claimed Apple will do on August 28. Thus, Epic will not lose what it did not put into play in principle, but it still will not be able to count on Fortnite in the App Store, the judge having decided not to impose on Apple the decision to fire Fortnite. in store, after its sudden release.
According to the judge, Epic “has strategically chosen to break its agreements with Apple”
To understand the decision not to force Fortnite’s return to the App Store, you need to get to the text. It reads as follows: “By focusing on the status quo, the Court observes that Epic Games has strategically chosen to break its agreements with Apple that changed the status quo. No action has been identified to suggest that the court should impose a new status quo in favor of Epic Games.
The judge therefore agrees with those who have argued that Epic broke App Store rules overnight by changing Fortnite’s payment method. In this sense, it can also be read that “while the court predicts that experts will think that Apple’s 30% takeover is anti-competitive, the court doubts that an expert suggests a zero percent alternative. Even Epic Games don’t give away their products for free. In addition, the judge says that Epic “has not shown irreparable damage” to its games, and that it remains “free to uphold the agreements with Apple” as long as the legal process continues.
The thing changes however with regard to Unreal Engine, where the judge believes that “the Unreal Engine platform and the gaming industry in general are potentially very harmful“ In the face of decisions with Fortnite, with Unreal Engine ”contracts related to these requests were not violated ”by Epic, so Apple will not be able to remove the developer certificate.
With these temporary decisions taken, the case has gone on for a long time. Starting September 28, we’ll see whether or not Apple can keep Fortnite off its platforms, and whether it can do the same with Unreal Engine and the rest of Epic’s properties. However, getting into the context of the practices Epic is denouncing in the App Store will take about six months according to Epic, and ten according to Apple.