Courts Rule That Apple Cannot Ban The Unreal Engine Developer Tools Of Epic Games From Store

Courts Rule That Apple Cannot Ban The Unreal Engine Developer Tools Of Epic Games From Store
Credit: Fortnite

It’s the first ruling that has come down from the courts in the billion-dollar slap-fest that will assuredly have consequences from the market that are as of yet unforeseen: Apple cannot ban the Unreal Engine developmental tools from their app store in its entirety.

The ruling is effective immediately, meaning that applications relying on the Unreal Engine will not be removed from the AppStore on August 28; a move from Apple to attempt to put pressure on Epic Games by showing that Epic isn’t the only side with a bit of heft and ammunition in store.

Fortnite has not been reinstated onto the AppStore after Epic knowingly and willfully broke the terms of service by attempting to route payments away from Apple (and their 30% cut), and the battle will continue with each side taking potshots at each other.

Microsoft recently tossed some support towards Epic Games; specifically in retaliation of Apple threatening to remove all Unreal Development applications from their store in a move that would have drastic consequences for everyone that wasn’t in this discussion that isn’t a billionaire.

Yet everything isn’t so clear-cut as many presumed: US District Judge Yvonne Rogers stated that ‘serious questions do exist’ regarding the policies and restrictions of Apple’s App Store, and precisely how their guidelines could be anti-competitive, which is the term that the entire case has surrounded.

This could bode well for console players, depending on how it turns out: if it’s ruled that Apple is stepping into the territory of anti-competitive by locking who pushes to the platform, the case could likely be made that Microsoft and Sony, by controlling the entirety of the distribution of titles on their own platforms; it could also have consequences for Steam on PC, as well.

Judge Yvonne Rogers also stated that Epic can easily get back into the App Store by reverting their hotfix that was designed to get the product kicked out of the app stores; thus, the claim of ‘irreparable harm’ done to Epic Games’ via Apple’s cut is a statement that might not hold much water in the eyes of the court.

The court case is scheduled to proceed on September 28.

Yvonne Rogers stated that both companies are free to stomp around in court how they please against each other, however ‘their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders’; a verbal warning to both companies to not drag the everyman into this to create a further scene and apply pressure to each other.

At the beginning of the case, the US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has shown to be understanding the context of the battle; a sign that could offer relief to concerned onlookers. It’s anybody’s guess how this ends, however.