The judge in the Apple vs Epic Games case has prevented the app store from blocking Unreal Engine games, but Apple won’t be forced to put Fortnite back.
Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers denied Epic’s preliminary injuction that would force Apple to put Fortnite back on the app store while the case goes on.
However, the judge did grant their other injuction, which stops Apple from banning apps made with Unreal Engine, which Epic owns and makes. You can see the full decision here.
That means, that unless Epic decides to remove it’s direct payment method for V-Bucks, which started this whole legal battle, we won’t see Fortnite back on iOS devices. Atleast, until the trial is over.
The decision to keep Unreal Engine protected though, is to stop the dispute between Apple and Epic creating havoc for “bystanders” – aka other developers not involved in the litigation, who just happen to use Unreal Engine.
In a statement, Epic said: “Epic Games is grateful that Apple will continue to be barred from retaliating against Unreal Engine and our game development customers as the litigation continues. We will continue to develop for iOS and Mac under the court’s protection and we will pursue all avenues to end Apple’s anti-competitive behavior.”
Apple, on the other hand, said: “We’re grateful the court recognized that Epic’s actions were not in the best interests of its own customers and that any problems they may have encountered were of their own making when they breached their agreement.”
The trial will commence in May, 2021, when some sort of resolution to this case will hopefully be resolved. Until then, Fortnite won’t be on iPhones or iPads – that much is certain.