NEW DELHI: A judge in the United States has granted a temporary stay against Apple blocking the use of Unreal Engine on Apple devices and blocking Epic Games’ accounts on its platforms, but upheld the company’s ban on popular battle royale game, Fortnite, on the App Store. The video game giant had earlier said that Apple threatened to go after Unreal Engine, which is a game engine used by many developers worldwide.
The judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, though said the ban on Fortnite was Epic’s own doing. “Your client created the situation. Your client doesn’t come to this court with clean hands. Epic made a strategically and calculated move to breach, and decided to breach right before a new season. So in my view, you cannot have irreparable harm when you create a harm yourself. All Epic has to do is take it back to the status quo and no one suffers any harm. And you can have a trial date in the spring. Flip the switch to the way it was August 3rd and return everybody back to where they were,” the court said in its ruling.
“Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to mitigate against each other, but their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders,” the ruling said. This grants relief to other developers who would have suffered, had Apple stopped the use of Epic’s game engine on its platforms.
Apple banned Fortnite from the App Store after Epic built in its own payments system into the app. It allowed the company to bypass Apple’s own payment systems, which violates its App Store guidelines. As a result, the iPhone-maker banned Fortnite from its platform. Google, too, followed Apple in banning Fortnite citing a similar violation.
Epic’s case against Apple has been supported by companies like Microsoft, Spotify and more. Apple has been facing growing concerns around how it charges developers a commission on App Store payments, with many saying the company’s policies are stifling competition. It was also a major point taken up by an antitrust subcommittee of the US Congress recently, when Apple chief executive Tim Cook appeared in front of them for a hearing, alongside fellow tech majors — Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.