Following an exchange of courtesies, Apple and Epic Games met in court. The first battle ended in a draw, but the epics are still in a losing position.
Apple and Epic trial
The case was reviewed by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, with whom Apple and Epic met at Zoom. After the first hearing, the judge issued a preliminary ruling, allowing the Cupertinians not to return Fortnite to the App Store. Epic broke with Apple by introducing an additional payment method bypassing the company’s systems, Rogers noted.
At the same time, the court temporarily banned Apple from blocking developers access to the Unreal Engine. Recall that in a previous statement, the company planned to cut Epic from Apple’s Developer Program, as well as iOS and Mac platforms. As a result, many developers would be left without access to the engine on which they develop their games. Epic even filed a second lawsuit to keep the lock on hold and the court upheld the claim.
The judge considered that blocking the Unreal Engine could harm both the platform itself and the developers.
“Apple’s decision is hard to argue, but even if Epic wins the case, the engine’s temporary unavailability could cause irreparable harm to the third-party developers who rely on it. Apple chose to act harshly and thereby influenced third-party organizations and the third-party ecosystem, ”Gonzalez said.
At the same time, the judge noted that this is only a preliminary decision, which will not affect the final conclusion in the case. In addition, traces of unfair struggle are really visible in Apple’s actions.
The second hearing will take place on 28 September.