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
7 weeks ago
Judge finding Epics‘ “credibility” “undermined.”

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

m1 chip macbook air pro

Kuo: Redesigned MacBooks With Apple Silicon to Launch in Second Half of 2021

Tuesday November 24, 2020 7:53 pm PST by
Apple plans to release additional MacBook models with Apple Silicon in the second half of 2021, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, as part of the company's two-year transition away from Intel processors across its Mac lineup. In a research note today, obtained by MacRumors, Kuo said that these MacBook models will feature a new design. Kuo did not specify which models these will be, but he...
2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
app store christmas icon

Apple Shutting Down App Store Connect From December 23 to December 27

Monday November 23, 2020 10:14 am PST by
Apple shuts down App Store Connect for a week around the holidays each year in an effort to give App Store staff time off from work. This year, App Store Connect will be unavailable from December 23 to December 27. With App Store Connect unavailable, Apple will not accept new apps or app updates, so all pricing changes and new app submissions need to be locked in before those dates for...
Target November Deals 1

Black Friday Spotlight: Target Begins Week-Long Sale With Deals on iPhone 12, Powerbeats Pro, and More

Monday November 23, 2020 8:07 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Target. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
max tech xcode benchmark m1 macbook

Video Demos Performance Differences Between 8GB and 16GB Apple M1 MacBook Pro

Monday November 23, 2020 2:54 pm PST by
All of the M1 Mac models use the same M1 chip, so the upgrade options are limited to SSD storage space and RAM. We haven't seen many comparisons that demonstrate the difference between a machine with 8GB RAM and the upgraded 16GB RAM option, but Max Tech today shared a video highlighting the performance between an 8GB MacBook Pro and a 16GB MacBook Pro. The video includes a series of...
new mac mini logicpro screen

M1 Macs Able to Run Up to Six External Displays Using DisplayLink

Tuesday November 24, 2020 6:53 am PST by
It is possible to run up to six external displays from the M1 Mac mini, and five external displays from the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with the aid of DisplayPort adapters, according to YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov. This far exceeds Apple's specified limits on external displays with the M1 Macs. Apple's host of new M1 Macs are not capable of supporting as many external displays as their...
iPads black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPad Deals

Tuesday November 24, 2020 8:51 am PST by
Although we're still a few days away from the official launch of Black Friday, we've known for a few weeks that many retailers would be kicking off discounts ahead of November 27. Because of this trend, today we're tracking discounts across Apple's lineup of iPads, including the 10.2-inch iPad and 2020 iPad Pro. More sales are likely to appear as the week progresses, and when they do we'll update ...
13 16 inch macbook pro air trio

Reliable Leaker Suggests Redesigned MacBooks in 2021 Will Include Both Apple Silicon and Intel Models

Wednesday November 25, 2020 9:15 am PST by
Reliable leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today suggested on Twitter that redesigned MacBooks coming in the second half of 2021 will include models with both Apple Silicon chips and Intel processors. The brief Tweet came in response to a MacRumors article from earlier today, which outlined a report from Ming-Chi Kuo claiming that Apple plans to release redesigned MacBook models with Apple ...
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...