According to The Verge, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers ruled in favour of Epic Games on an injunction designed to keep opponent Apple from retaliating, in any way, against Unreal Engine — the widely popular game development engine also owned by Epic Games — on Friday, October 9.
The injunction permanently restrains Apple from aiming Unreal Engine’s way. “Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate this action for the future of the digital frontier, but their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders,” said Judge Rogers about her decision.
Apple going after Epic Games’ Unreal Engine business would have been bad for the game development industry as a whole, as Unreal Engine is probably the most widely used game engine for games on all platforms.
At the same time, Judge Rogers also ruled against Epic Games on a preliminary injunction to get Apple to reinstate Fortnite to the App Store.
Even though public opinion and many big names in the gaming industry side with Epic Games in the matter, the developer/publisher took quite a few punches when it met Apple in court for a second time in September.
“Our customers depend on the App Store being a safe and trusted place where all developers follow the same set of rules,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge. “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.”
While the court’s decision prevents Apple from completely revoking Epic Games’ developer tools, the tech giant already terminated the game developer’s App Store account back in September. As disappointing as it may be, it doesn’t look like Fortnite will be returning to the App Store anytime soon.