Epic Games Denied Preliminary Injunction for Fortnite, But Apple Can't Block Unreal Engine

A California judge today denied Epic Games' request for a preliminary injunction that would have required Apple to allow Fortnite back into the App Store, which means the app will continue to remain unavailable on Apple's iOS platform for the duration of the legal battle between the two companies.


While the Fortnite app for iOS devices will not be reinstated into the ‌App Store‌, Epic did successfully win an order that will require Apple to continue to allow Epic to operate its Unreal Engine developer account.

The decisions made today by the court are not a surprise and echo the ruling made during a request for a temporary restraining order, where the judge made the same determinations and allowed Apple to ban the Fortnite app but prevented the Cupertino company from blocking the Unreal Engine.

The court says that in regard to Fortnite, preliminary injunctive relief is "rarely granted," with the ruling pointing out that an order for injunctive relief would require Epic to establish that it is likely to succeed in the legal battle, it is likely to suffer irreparable harm without relief, the balance of equities tips in its favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest, none of which ‌Epic Games‌ was able to do.

‌Epic Games‌ has claimed that it should be given injunctive relief because it should not have to comply with an anti-competitive ‌App Store‌ contract, but the court has rejected this argument multiple times because ‌Epic Games‌ deliberately breached its contract with Apple and caused Fortnite to be banned.

‌Epic Games‌ cannot simply exclaim "monopoly" to rewrite agreements giving itself unilateral benefit. Its other identified bases: damage to its reputation and the Fortnite gaming community cannot constitute irreparable harm where such harm flows from ‌Epic Games‌' own actions and its strategic decision to breach its agreements with Apple. While consumers are feeling the impact of this litigation, the fact remains: these are business disputes.

To assist, the Court even offered to require the 30% to be placed in escrow pending resolution of the trial which ‌Epic Games‌ flatly rejected. The refusal to do so suggests ‌Epic Games‌ is not principally concerned with iOS consumers, but rather, harbors other tactical moves. ‌Epic Games‌ admits that the technology exists to "fix" the problem by easily deactivating the "hotfix."

Apple and ‌Epic Games‌ are not expected to be back in court to continue the legal dispute until May of 2021, so Fortnite fans will be without access to the game on Apple's devices for some time. Apple in August terminated the Fortnite developer account.

Update: In a statement provided to Bloomberg, Apple said that it's "grateful" to the court for the decision.

Our customers depend on the ‌App Store‌ being a safe and trusted place where all developers follow the same set of rules. 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.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND ... by MacRumors

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
1 week ago
Judge finding Epics‘ “credibility” “undermined.”

Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
1 week ago
World’s smallest violin for Epic ?
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
1 week ago
"Epic Games' adamant refusal to understand this basic distinction is not only baffling, but undermines its credibility with this Court."

I can't stop laughing at this. It really does make them look silly.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
1 week ago


Correct. But the point is that arguing that this is somehow rarely done, or is only done for serious bug fixes is nonsense. Server-gated changes are pretty common. This is doubly true if you're talking about a highly server-driven game.

I think you missed the point of the footnote. The import of it was not whether it is rarely done or not. Her point is that Epic claimed that Apple was fully aware of the nature of the change when they submitted the hotfix, which is clearly ludicrous. Epic keeps making the straw man argument “there’s nothing wrong with hotfixes!”

And her point is that ”yep, that’s true. the issue isn’t that you made a hot fix. It’s that you hid the functionality enabled by that hot fix, and you know that’s the real issue Epic.”
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
1 week ago

The judge's adamant refusal to understand how flag-guarded features work or the difference between a hot patch (uploading new executable code to run on the device itself, which is almost completely infeasible in iOS) and changing server-side or server-gated client-side behavior is not only baffling, but undermines her credibility with the industry.

Your arrogance thinking you know better than the judge is astonishing. The whole reason for this “hotfix” was to give one version to apple’s review team, and then have a totally different version in the hands of the users, with a feature that Epic knew was in breach of their contract with Apple, and which Epic knew would never have passed an app review.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
1 week ago


So I am reading this as Epic tried to make Apple bow to them, failed and are now trying to get back on the App Store but can't. Lol.

Basically. They shot themselves in the foot and pissed off millions of iOS users. Epic fail.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Samsung Mocks Apple for Ditching Power Adapters With iPhone 12 Lineup

Thursday October 15, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Samsung on its social channels is mocking Apple for removing the power adapter from the iPhone 12 lineup and other iPhone models, pointing out the fact that the Samsung Galaxy smartphones continue to ship with a power adapter. "Included with your Galaxy," reads a Samsung Facebook post that features a picture of a power adapter. Apple notably is no longer providing power adapters or...

iPhone 12 Pro Pre-Orders Already Selling Out With Delivery Times Pushing Into November

Friday October 16, 2020 6:35 am PDT by
Apple today opened pre-orders for the 6.1-inch models of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro through its website and the Apple Store app, and estimated delivery times are already slipping into November for select configurations in the United States. Customers ordering a SIM-free/Pacific Blue/128GB version of the iPhone 12 Pro, for example, are already facing an estimated delivery window of...

HomePod Mini Cable is Non-Detachable, Ends With USB-C Connector for Use With Included 20W Power Adapter

Friday October 16, 2020 12:45 pm PDT by
While not detailed in the tech specs, MacRumors can confirm that Apple's new HomePod mini features a non-detachable power cable that ends with a USB-C connector for use with the 20W power adapter included in the box. With the switch to USB-C, the HomePod mini could potentially be powered by a wider range of devices and peripherals, ranging from MacBooks to USB-C battery packs with enough...

Apple's New MagSafe Charger and Cases Begin Arriving to Customers

Saturday October 17, 2020 10:10 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe charger and cases have begun arriving to some customers earlier than expected, and images of the accessories have started to surface on Twitter. The photos provide a first look at the products in real-world use. As of writing, some MagSafe cases are also available for pickup at select Apple Stores in countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Filip...

New Google App Feature Lets You Hum a Song to Search for It

Saturday October 17, 2020 4:05 am PDT by
Google has added a new feature to its Search app that allows you to hum a song that's stuck in your head, and then use the company's machine learning algorithm to try and identify it. In the Google app or using the Google Search widget, tap the mic icon and say "what's this song?" or click the "Search a song" button. Then start humming the tune for 10-15 seconds. When you're done, the...

Brazilian Certifications Suggest iPhone 12 Mini Features 2,227mAh Battery and iPhone 12 Has 2,815mAh Battery

Friday October 16, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone mini has the shortest battery life out of all the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup due to its small size, but Apple has not provided public information about the battery's capacity. A regulatory filing from Brazil, however, suggests the iPhone 12 mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh. The same regulatory information says the iPhone 12 features a 2,815mAh battery, which is...

Apple Offering Free AirPods With iPhone 11 Purchase in India as Part of Diwali Celebration

Friday October 16, 2020 12:35 pm PDT by
Apple today launched a new Diwali promotion in India that will see the company providing customers with a set of AirPods with the purchase of any iPhone 11 model. The new iPhone 12 models are not part of the promotion. Apple is offering the standard AirPods With Charging Case free with purchase, but customers can choose to upgrade to the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case or the AirPods Pro....

Apple Event to Unveil First Apple Silicon Macs Could Happen on November 17

Friday October 16, 2020 2:24 am PDT by
Apple will hold another digital event on November 17 to announce its first Apple Silicon powered Macs, according to frequent leaker Jon Prosser. Apple has already said that this year it intends to introduce the first Mac powered by an Apple Silicon chip instead of an Intel processor. One thing it hasn't revealed is the date it will be announced. According to Prosser's source, that date is No...

Apple Online Store Down Ahead of iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Pre-Orders

Thursday October 15, 2020 11:15 pm PDT by
Apple's online store is down ahead of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders, which are set to begin at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time in the United States. "You're... early," reads the Apple Store message when attempting to visit the U.S. website. "Pre-order begins at 5:00 a.m. PDT. Enjoy the extra sleep." Apple used to do new device pre-orders at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time, but since last year, has...

When You Can Pre-Order the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Every Time Zone

Thursday October 15, 2020 10:55 am PDT by
Pre-orders for the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro are set to kick off on Friday, October 16 at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Time, which is a new launch time that Apple adopted as of last year. Apple is planning to make the new devices available in multiple countries around the world simultaneously, so we've made a guide to let MacRumors readers know when pre-orders will in their country. Pre-orders...