The California judge in the legal skirmish between Epic Games and Apple has denied Epic’s request that Apple be forced to reinstate Fortnite in the App Store, but did affirm that Apple can not take action against the Epic Games developer accounts used to bring Unreal Engine developers access to Apple devices.
The court’s decision re-affirmed their proclamation from late August in a court hearing where Epic Games’ lawyers sought to obtain a temporary restraining order after Apple informed the Fortnite developer that they would be kicking the company off the App Store and terminating all of their company accounts.
The judge noted that “[p]reliminary injunctive relief is an extraordinary measure rarely granted,” and detailed that they were granting in part and denying in part Epic’s request, noting that “Epic Games bears the burden in asking for such extraordinary relief.”
From 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% 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.
This confirms that Fortnite will not return to the App Store before the trial begins, a court filing this week signaled that the two companies will go to trial on May 3, 2021.
“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,” an Epic Games spokesperson said in a statement.