The first battle in a long war has reached its conclusion.
Epic Apple logos

This past week, Epic had filed for a temporary restraining order in order to prevent Apple from terminating all Epic developer accounts. This was a reactionary response from Apple after Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple for kicking Fortnite from the App Store when Epic decided they did not want to play by the rules.

This ban against Unreal Engine would have effectively barred all Unreal Engine developers from being able to update or release their games on iOS. If left unchallenged, this would have gone into effect on Friday, August 28. Epic Games naturally challenged this ruling. Both sides presented their case yesterday with the final verdicts being a mixed bag for both companies.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled late on Monday that Apple cannot block or limit Epic's ability to provide Unreal Engine to smaller developers on the App Store. However, Apple did take a win in a second ruling that keeps Fortnite off of the store.

Here is what Bloomberg reports on last night's late ruling.

The mixed ruling comes as Apple faces a backlash from some app developers who say its standard App Store fee of 30% and others policies are unfair and designed to benefit the iPhone maker’s own services. The fight blew up Aug. 13 when Epic told customers customers it would begin offering a discounted direct purchase plan for items in Fortnite, and Apple then removed the game app, cutting off access for access for more than a billion iPhone and iPad customers.

Apple said the judge’s ruling recognizes that Epic’s problem is “entirely self-inflicted.”

“Our very first priority is making sure App Store users have a great experience in a safe and trusted environment, including iPhone users who play Fortnite and who are looking forward to the game’s next season,” the company said in a statement. “We agree with Judge Gonzalez-Rogers that ‘the sensible way to proceed’ is for Epic to comply with the App Store guidelines and continue to operate while the case proceeds.”


Epic breached its agreements with Apple by trying to make money on Fortnite purchases while accessing Apple’s platform for free, but didn’t breach any contracts related to Unreal Engine and developer tools, Rogers ruled.

By limiting Unreal Engine, “Apple has chosen to act severely,” hurting third-party developers who use Epic’s technology platform, Rogers said.

“Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate against each other, but their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders,” she wrote.
Judge Rogers said on Monday that the case isn't a "slam dunk" for either side. She also went on to say that her ruling last night will not dictate the final outcome of the litigation. The next major date in this legal battle will take place on September 28.

Buckle up, we're in for a long one here.