Unreal Engine developer Epic had previously clashed with Apple due to Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism, and then Apple announced that it would completely remove the popular game Fortnite.
At the same time, Apple threatened to disconnect from Epic’s cooperation with Unreal Engine. If the Unreal Engine account is closed, it will have a devastating effect on a large number of other developers.
The reason is that Epic needs to update and maintain Unreal Engine through a cooperative account, and Unreal Engine will provide other developers to simplify development and improve game effects.
If Unreal Engine is blocked, a large number of games may need to change the game engine, and it is for this reason that the court currently makes a permanent ban on the Unreal Engine issue.
“Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate this action for the future of the digital frontier, but their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders. Thus, the public interest weighs overwhelmingly in favor of Unreal Engine and the Epic Affiliates,” said the judge, keeping Epic’s Unreal Engine business from being harmed.
“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,” an Epic spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”
“Our customers depend on the App Store being a safe and trusted place where all developers follow the same set of rules,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement. “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. For twelve years, the App Store has been an economic miracle, creating transformative business opportunities for developers large and small. We look forward to sharing this legacy of innovation and dynamism with the court next year.”
Although the case is still in a preliminary hearing, Epic hopes that the court will make a ruling to restore Fortnite, that is, the Fortnite game can be returned to the Apple Store.
Earlier, Apple has stated that if Fortnite is willing to abide by the developer’s rules, adopt an in-app purchase mechanism and pay Apple taxes, it will allow Fortnite to be re-listed in stores.
But the developer rejected Apple’s request. After all, Epic essentially hopes to initiate an antitrust lawsuit through this conflict to force Apple to change its anti-competitive behavior.
Although Epic’s permanent ban on Unreal Engine is considered a victory, the judge also rejected the company’s other request that Fortnite does not use in-app purchases to return to the App Store.
Therefore, in the preliminary trial, Apple and Epic had their own victories, but the core issues were still not resolved. It is expected that the trial will begin next spring after a detailed investigation.