What you need to know
- A judge has refused to grant Epic's preliminary injunction request against Apple.
- Preliminary injunction would have forced Apple to allow Fortnite back onto the App Store.
- Epic affiliates and Unreal Engine are not affected by the ruling.
A judge in the Epic v. Apple antitrust battle has shot down any hopes of Fortnite being allowed back on to the App Store anytime soon.
In a ruling Friday, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers confirmed that Fortnite would remain banned from the iOS App Store for the duration of Epic Games' lawsuit against Apple, but that the court would grant protections against Epic Games developer accounts and the Unreal Engine:
In sum, the Court finds that based upon the record before it, the Winter factors weigh against granting a preliminary injunction based on Epic Games' requests as to Fortnite and other games and in favor of granting a preliminary injunction order as the Epic Affiliates effected developer tools, including as to Unreal Engine.
The latest ruling mirrors a previous decision made during a hearing for a temporary restraining order. Although Epic was denied the request for its own developer account, the ruling does not apply to Epic's affiliate accounts and the Unreal Engine.
THEREFORE, APPLE AND ALL PERSONS IN ACTIVE CONCERT OR PARTICIPATION WITH APPLE, ARE PRELIMINARILY ENJOINED from taking adverse action against the Epic Affiliates with respect to restricting, suspending or terminating the Epic Affiliates from the Apple's Developer Program, on the basis that Epic Games enabled IAP direct processing in Fortnite through means other than the Apple IAP system, or on the basis of the steps Epic Games took to do so. This preliminary injunction shall remain in effect during the pendency of this litigation unless the Epic Affiliates breach: (1) any of their governing agreements with Apple, or (2) the operative App Store guidelines. This preliminary injunction SUPERSEDES the prior temporary restraining order.
Apple responded to the ruling in a statement late Friday:
Unless the two sides come to an agreement, or a verdict is reached, the ruling means that Fortnite and other Epic games will continue to be unavailable on the App Store for the duration of the trial. As previously reported, the trial is currently scheduled to begin on Monday, May 3rd, 2021.