The Epic Games case against Apple is not going to be solved over a night. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who is handling the case, has set a full hearing for September 28, where both parties will be able to give all their legal arguments. In the meantime, he has issued a temporary restraining order against Apple, but one that also significantly hurts Epic Games.
Apple will not be able to restrict the use of the Unreal Engine on its platforms or close the Epic Games developer account on the App Store, something that Fortnite’s parents claimed Apple would do on August 28. Thus, Epic will not lose what it had not put into play in principle, but it will still not be able to count on Fortnite in the App Store, as the judge has decided not to impose on Apple the decision to return Fortnite to the store, after its abrupt exit.
According to the judge, Epic “strategically chose to break its agreements with Apple”
To understand the decision regarding not forcing the return of Fortnite to the App Store, you have to go to the text. In it we can read the following: “By focusing on the status quo, the court notes that Epic Games strategically chose to break its agreements with Apple that changed the status quo. No actions have been identified that suggest that the Court should impose a new status quo. in favor of Epic Games “.
The judge thus agrees with those who have argued that Epic broke the App Store rules overnight by changing Fortnite’s payment method. In this sense, we can also read that “while the court foresees that the experts will think that the taking of 30 percent of Apple is anticompetitive, the court doubts that an expert would suggest a zero percent alternative. Not even Epic Games gives their products for free. ” In addition, the judge affirms that Epic “has not demonstrated irreparable damage” to its games, and that it remains “free to maintain the agreements with Apple” while the judicial process continues.
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Things change, however, with regard to Unreal Engine, where the judge believes that ” there is potential great harm to both the Unreal Engine platform and the video game industry in general.” Faced with the decisions with Fortnite, with Unreal Engine “the contracts related to those requests were not breached” by Epic, so Apple will not be able to remove the developer certificate.
With these temporary decisions made, the case goes for a long time. Starting on September 28, it will be seen whether or not Apple can keep Fortnite off its platforms, and if it can do the same with Unreal Engine and the rest of Epic’s properties. However, getting into the background of the practices that Epic denounces in the App Store will take about six months according to Epic, and ten according to Apple.