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.

fortnite apple featured
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.

Top Rated Comments

cmaier Avatar
21 months ago
Judge finding Epics‘ “credibility” “undermined.”

Attachment Image
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
springsup Avatar
21 months ago
World’s smallest violin for Epic ?
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bandaman Avatar
21 months 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)
cmaier Avatar
21 months 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)
gnasher729 Avatar
21 months 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)
Bandaman Avatar
21 months 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)

Related Stories

maxresdefault

Hands On: Testing Fortnite on iOS Using GeForce NOW

Thursday February 17, 2022 11:54 am PST by
Fortnite has been unavailable to play on the iPhone and iPad since Apple banned it from the App Store in August 2020 amid an ongoing legal battle with Epic Games, but the battle royale game is coming back to iOS devices thanks to Nvidia's GeForce NOW gaming service. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. GeForce NOW is a browser-based gaming service that will allow iPhone ...
fortnite apple featured

Apple Won't Allow Fortnite Back in the App Store Until Legal Battle Ends Due to Epic's 'Duplicitous Conduct'

Wednesday September 22, 2021 9:49 am PDT by
Apple has no plans to allow Fortnite to return to the App Store in the near future, Apple's lawyers told Epic's lawyers this week. Further, Apple does not plan to consider requests for the reinstatement of the Epic Games developer account until the court's judgment is "final and nonappealable," a process that could span years. Apple provided this information to Epic Games after Epic CEO Tim...
fortnite apple logo south korea feature 1

Epic Games Asks Apple to Restore Fortnite in South Korea Following Ban on In-App Purchase Requirement [Update]

Thursday September 9, 2021 5:00 pm PDT by
Epic Games today said that it has asked Apple to reinstate its Fortnite developer account because it intends to release Fortnite in South Korea. South Korea in late August passed a bill that bans Apple from requiring developers to use its in-app purchase system. The bill forces Apple (and Google) to let developers use third-party payment methods to make purchases. Epic Games now says that ...
fortnite apple featured

Judge in Upcoming Epic v. Apple Trial to Limit In-Person Attendees

Friday March 26, 2021 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple and Epic Games lawyers are continuing to plan for their upcoming May 3 bench trial, and in a preparatory conference held today, the judge overseeing the case said that attendance will be limited due to the ongoing global health crisis (via Law360). U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has been planning for an in-person trial because she believes that the case is significant...
fortnite apple featured

Epic Games vs. Apple Trial Begins With Opening Remarks Underway

Monday May 3, 2021 9:05 am PDT by
The first day of the bench trial between Fortnite creator Epic Games and Apple is officially underway, with the companies delivering opening remarks before District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in a Northern California courtroom. The saga dates back to August 2020, when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic Games introduced a direct payment option in the app for its in-game...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic Games Began Planning Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple Two Years Ago With 'Project Liberty'

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:01 am PDT by
Ahead of its upcoming bench trial against Epic Games, Apple today filed 500 pages of documents covering findings of fact and conclusions of law, which basically summarizes the information exchanged between Apple and Epic, presents the relevant facts to the judge, and argues for the logical conclusions that should be drawn when law is applied to the case. Apple sticks to many of the talking...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic Games Appeals Ruling in Apple Lawsuit, Claims Court Made Errors

Thursday January 20, 2022 10:29 am PST by
Epic Games today kicked off its appeal of the judge's decision in the Epic v. Apple lawsuit, filing an opening brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Both Apple and Epic Games have decided to appeal the original ruling as neither company was satisfied with the outcome. Epic Games wanted the court to force Apple to support third-party App Stores, which did not...
app store blue banner epic 1

Epic Games vs. Apple Judgment Allows App Store Developers to Link to Alternative Payment Methods

Friday September 10, 2021 8:43 am PDT by
A decision was reached today in the high-profile Epic Games v. Apple trial, with U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruling that Apple's anti-steering conduct is anti-competitive, and ruling in favor of Apple on all other counts. In a 185-page ruling, Judge Rogers said "the Court cannot ultimately conclude that Apple is a monopolist under either federal or state antitrust laws," but...

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
apple music

Apple Increases Apple Music Subscription Price for Students in Several Countries

Sunday May 22, 2022 1:57 am PDT by
Apple has silently increased the price of its Apple Music subscription for college students in several countries, with the company emailing students informing them their subscription would be slightly increasing in price moving forward. The price change is not widespread and, based on MacRumors' findings, will impact Apple Music student subscribers in but not limited to Australia, the...
EA Apple Maybe Feature

Apple Reportedly Talked With Electronic Arts About Potential Acquisition

Monday May 23, 2022 10:58 am PDT by
Apple is one of several companies that have held talks with Electronic Arts (EA) about a potential purchase, according to a new report from Puck. EA has spoken to several "potential suitors," including Apple, Amazon, and Disney as it looks for a merger arrangement. Apple and the other companies declined to comment, and the status of the talks is not known at this time, but Apple does have an ...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...