Judge Makes First Ruling in the Epic v Apple Case

Judge Makes First Ruling in the Epic v Apple Case

A quick ruling to determine the fate of the Unreal Engine.

pocru by pocru on Aug 25, 2020 @ 05:56 AM (Staff Bios)
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The Epic/Apple/Google fight has reached the next round, and so far, both sides have taken some punches.

Here’s the TL;DR of events so far: a little while back Epic Games defied both Google and Apple’s terms of service by putting a direct payment method in their mobile version of Fortnite, which would circumvent the 30 percent cut both companies take out of all mobile transactions. In response, both Apple and Google removed Fortnite from their respective stores. Epic then fired back with a lawsuit and a public smear campaign against the two companies, filing that the 30 percent cut that both Apple and Google take is unlawful. Google more or less took this accusation sitting down, but Apple, in retaliation, removed all of Epic Game’s stuff from their store – including their Unreal Engine, which was being used by a lot of different companies and games in the App Store. Epic Games fired back demanding that both Fortnite and the Unreal Engine get put back on the App Store, and surprisingly, Microsoft jumped into the fray on Epic’s side, saying that they need the Unreal Engine for some of their games on the App store and that Apple was getting out of hand.

And yes, that’s the TL;DR version. This really is a friggin’ mess.

Anyway, things have developed thanks to the quick decision of U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who appears to be the judge residing over the case. In a temporary verdict, which is used to address immediate issues while the larger issues play out, she ruled that while Apple doesn’t have to continue offering Fortnite on its App Store, it “overreached” in taking down the Unreal Engine, which will probably mean they’ll be forced to put it back up.

She did say that Epic Games didn’t have “clean hands” in terms of purposely breaching their contract with Apple, which is a direct attack on the way they’ve been spinning the PR on this issue, but that’s probably not going to change how they continue to pitch this to the public.

This is a bigger loss for Epic than Apple, but it is good news for everyone else who was at risk of getting caught in the crossfire between them. As for the decision regarding Fortnite itself, and the problematic 30 percent cut that both Apple and Google take, that fight is probably going to take a long, long time.

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