Epic Games’ lawsuit against Apple is now well underway with the game developer scoring a partial win in the first ruling on the case. The court granted the developer a temporary restraining order against Apple following the tech giant’s threat to remove Epic’s Unreal Engine from multiple Apple platforms — an act of retaliation against the Fortnite company that would have impacted thousands of developers working on their own games and entertainment projects.
The Verge reports that Epic Games recently received a partial temporary restraining order against Apple, preventing the tech giant from retaliating against Epic Games’ lawsuit by terminating the company’s Apple developer accounts or restricting the use of Epic’s Unreal Engine by other developers on Apple’s platforms.
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers stated in a recent ruling that Apple will not be required to allow Fornite back to its App Store after it was banned for adding an in-app payment system. Rogers wrote in a filing: “The Court finds that with respect to Epic Games’ motion as to its games, including Fortnite, Epic Games has not yet demonstrated irreparable harm. The current predicament appears of its own making.”
Rogers added that Epic “strategically chose to breach its agreements with Apple,” and disturbed the status quo. Rogers further argued, however, that maintaining that status quo is why she’s ruling that Apple cannot cut off access to the Unreal Engine right now. She claimed in that case it was Apple who “has chosen to act severely” by threatening the Unreal Engine and as a result the many developers that use the engine on Apple’s platforms.
“Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate against each other, but their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders,” Rogers wrote. Rogers further agrees with Epic that there is “potential significant damage to both the Unreal Engine platform itself, and to the gaming industry generally,” and stated that Apple would likely have hard time arguing that Epic would not be harmed if Unreal Engine developers were forced to abandon their projects because Epic can no longer support them on Apple’s platforms.
The New York Times recently outlined the actions taken by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney in efforts to fight against major tech giants throughout the years, writing:
In 2018, Mr. Sweeney went at it again. He launched Fortnite, Epic’s popular video game, outside Google’s Play Store to bypass its app store fees, which he called a “tax” and “disproportionate.” And in January at an industry conference, he declared that “undue power has accrued to many of the participants who are not at the core of the industry.”
His mission to rein in the power of the tech companies has now reached a fever pitch. Mr. Sweeney is preparing for a protracted legal battle after Apple and Google banned Fortnite, which is played by more than 350 million people, from their stores this month for trying to get around its payment systems. In response, Epic sued both companies, accusing them of violating antitrust laws by forcing developers to use those payment systems.
Mr. Sweeney’s yearslong public crusade against the tech Goliaths suggests that the issue is not something he will easily drop. People close to him said the fight was not about money or ego. Instead, they said, it is firmly about principle.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org