US Judge Approves Removal Of Epic Games’ Fortnite From Apple’s App Store

Apple could bar Epic Games’ Fortnite game from its App Store, rules a federal judge in California, United States in relation to an injunction request by the game developer. The judge however said that such banning should not harm Epic’s developer tools business, including the game developer’s Unreal Engine software that is utilized by hundreds of other video games.

“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,” District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled.

There were no comments on the ruling available from Epic Games and Apple.

An appeal to the court was made by Epic Games last month in which the company sought a preliminary injunction from the court for putting its game back in the App Store as well as to restore its developer account.  Epic Games’ account on its App Store had been previously terminated by the iPhone maker.

In another suit filed against Apple by Epic Games in August, the gaming company alleged that Apple charged a 30 per cent commission on some in-app purchases made through its App Store was illegal while also appealing against Apple’s controls over what apps users can download to their iPhones, which amounted to anticompetitive behavior, the suit alleged.

Prior to the lawsuit, Epic had introduced its own payment system in the popular Fortnite video game.

Such alternative payment systems are not allowed by Apple and as a consequence, the iPhone maker removed Fortnite from the App Store and threatened that it would also terminate the developer accounts of Epic Games. Such a termination has impacted the other business of Epic such as the one related to selling software used to create games.

The court was moved by Epic to prevent Apple from taking both the measures. In a previous emergency order, Apple was allowed by the judge to pull Epic’s titles from the App Store but also asked the iPhone maker not to take any action that would potentially negatively ipact the developer tools of Epic

“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”, the judge said in Friday’s ruling.

However, Apple’s counter arguments had not been sufficiently addressed by Epic Games, she added. “The equities, addressed in the temporary restraining order, remain the same.”

(Adapted from JapanToday.com)

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