In a setback for Epic Games, a US federal judge in California has ruled that Apple has the right to bar the Fortnite publisher from its App Store for alleged policy violations. However, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers also added that the iPhone-maker cannot harm Epic’s developer tools business, which means Apple cannot take any action against games developed using Epic’s Unreal Engine development platform.
Ruling in an injunction filing over the weekend, she wrote: “The Court maintains its findings from the temporary restraining order and hereby grants in part and denies in part Epic Games’ motion for a preliminary injunction”. Neither party has spoken officially following the verdict, but we expect to hear more in the coming days.
The ruling comes following a lawsuit filed by Epic Games last month to get Fortnite reinstated on the App Store. Apple had removed the popular battle royale title from its online app repository after Epic introduced a new in-game payment processing option to save the 30% commission that Apple charges for every transaction done through its platform. Apple has since terminated Epic’s developer accounts on Mac and iOS, and removed all its other games from the App Store.
Apple has also filed a countersuit against Epic, alleging that company violated its contract in a ‘wilful, brazen and unlawful’ manner. The lawsuit further seeks unspecified damages for the alleged breach of contract and asks for the “restitution and disgorgement of all earnings, profits, compensation, benefits, and other ill-gotten gains obtained by Epic as a result of its conduct.”