Fortnite staying off the App Store for now, but Unreal Engine tools won’t be affected, rules judge

By Sherif Saed, Tuesday, 25 August 2020 08:55 GMT

Apple has eked out a small win against Epic Games.

In the latest development of Epic Games’ battle with Apple, a judge has ruled that Fortnite can remain off the App Store, but Apple cannot remove Unreal Engine and its tools.

Following Epic’s spat with Apple over the right to offer an alternative payment option in Fortnite that circumvents Apple’s payment system, the iPhone maker pulled the game off the App Store. Later, Apple gave Epic Games a couple of weeks to make Fortnite compliant with its policies once again, or risk losing Unreal Engine tools and getting its developer access revoked.

Given the magnitude of that threat, Epic Games filed a preliminary injunction asking for Fortnite to be returned, and for Unreal Engine to stay until a verdict has been reached on the main lawsuit. Today’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers (via Bloomberg) could be seen as a win for Apple, given that Fortnite will remain off the App Store.

Blocking Unreal Engine tools would have hurt more than Epic Games and its business, as thousands of developers rely on these tools to create and update their games. Judge Rogers ruled that Epic did not breach its Unreal Engine contracts, and that’s why they’re going to stay.

“Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate against each other, but their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders,” wrote Rogers.

Judge Rogers set September 28 as the date of the hearing on Epic’s request for a preliminary injunction.

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