CALIFORNIA JUDGE BOOTS EPIC’S REQUEST AIMED TO COMPEL APPLE TO RESTORE FORTNITE BACK TO APP STORE
Amid previous rulings, yet again the California judge boots in its latest ruling between Epic Games and the iOS giant, as the game giant’s request aimed to force Apple to restore Fortnite in the App Store was denied. In the same vein, the judge also confirmed that the iOS giant is not permitted to act against Epic’s developer accounts that are used to bring Unreal Engine developers’ access to Apple devices.
It’s understood, efforts have been made by the court to re-affirm its previous verdict held in August, a court hearing which saw Epic’s lawyers seeking the court’s temporary order after the company (Apple) notified Epic Games that it will be kicking the game giant off the App Store and equally terminate all Epic’s accounts. With this, it’s evident Fortnite is Epic’s most valuable game, and as such, keeping it off the App Store in this period of a pandemic would mean a lot for the company.
Since Epic layers have been able to secure the company’s accounts and Unreal Engine from the previous ruling, it’s evident the company now aims at a win over Apple’s App Store violation rule. But should Fortnite be restored to the App Store as requested by Epic! Apple could be on the verge of losing its App Store 30% fee.
Weighing up options for injunctive relief, the noted that “preliminary injunctive relief is an extraordinary measure rarely granted”, and explained that the judge booting based on the court’s decision of granting part and denying part of Epic’s request, citing that “Epic Games bears the burden in asking for such extraordinary relief”.
Looking at the filing, one would argue that the subject game (Fortnite) may not return to the App Store before the trial takes full effect, however, one of this week’s filing indicates that the giants will potentially go on trial 3 May 2021 as both sides aim to win and ignore loss irrespective of the court’s decision. According to the filing:
“Epic Games has strong arguments regarding Apple’s exclusive distribution through the iOS App Store, and the in-app purchase (“IAP”) system through which Apple takes 30 percent of certain IAP payments. However, given the limited record, Epic Games has not sufficiently addressed Apple’s counter-arguments. The equities, addressed in the temporary restraining order, remain the same”.
While according to an Epic Games spokesperson, “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. 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”. TechCrunch equally learned from Apple that:
“Our customers depend on the App Store being a safe and trusted place where all developers follow the same set of rules. 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”.
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