As announced, the court in California has made its first decisions in the dispute between Apple and Epic Games in the last few hours. Both companies had to accept gains and losses.
In the dispute between Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite and the Unreal Engine, and Apple, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has announced first decisions in the California court. Both companies were able to gain wins and setbacks. Gonzalez decided that Fortnite still does not need to be listed in the App Store – Apple’s ban can thus be maintained.
However, Apple may not – as originally announced for August 28th, 2020 – deprive the developers of access to the developer tools. The immediate danger for the further development of the Unreal Engine is thus off the table. The remaining installations of Fortnite on iOS devices are also out of danger for the time being.
The judge said that Epic «has not yet demonstrated irreparable harm». «The current predicament appears of its own making.» Rogers argued that Epic «strategically chose to breach its agreements with Apple», thereby disrupting the status quo. Conversely, Apple has also threatened the status quo by saying it will cut off access to the development tools.
Epic Games vs Apple: a first round draw
Rogers agreed with Epic Games that there was «potential significant damage to both the Unreal Engine platform itself, and to the gaming industry generally». The goal of these initial decisions was to maintain the status quo.
«Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate against each other, but their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders,» Rogers said. Only in the coming hearings will the dispute be further investigated.
The next hearing for the injunction is scheduled for Monday, September 28th, 2020. So far, there is no timetable for the trial. However, it is unlikely that it will start before the end of this year.