This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
The prelude to a legal battle between Apple and Epic Games over the removal of the popular Fortnite game from the App Store has been ruled out by the court for now. Apple applauded the ruling and issued a statement saying that it would be happy to bring the app back to the App Store if Epic Games removed the Direct Payment option.
Epic had asked for an injunction against Apple rescinding the removal of Fortnite and suspending the developer accounts needed to maintain the Unreal Engine. The court disagreed with the former (which was not urgent enough for the court to order Apple to rescind) and found the latter to be closer to retaliation, arguing that it involved more third parties than necessary.
In response to the decision, Apple released the following statement.
In this statement, Apple said that "Epic's problem is entirely self-inflicted (having violated its own guidelines, leading to the removal of the app)," and that their very first priority is to make sure that users looking forward to the next season of Fortnite play " in a safe and trusted environment". And they agreed with Judge Gonzalez-Rogers that it is "the sensible way to proceed" for Epic to adhere to the App Store's guidelines and keep the game running while the lawsuit is ongoing, and said they would gladly welcome Fortnite back to iOS if they followed the judge's recommended steps.
The whole sentence is softly worded, but it shows the intent to give the impression that the court's decision is in its favor. They haven't softened their stance one iota, as they did before Zoom's appearance, from "self-inflicted" wounds on Epic's part and "a safe and trusted environment" for customers to their main argument, which is that Fortnite will be returned to the App Store if Epic removes the direct payment option.
However, Apple's claims have not been fully acknowledged. The company had threatened to suspend all Epic-related developer accounts, including Unreal Engine, and argued that Epic Games (which runs Fortnite) and Epic International (which handles the Unreal Engine), which are procedurally separate accounts, are in fact the same Epic, as a basis for this, but this was rejected by the court. Epic, which was saved from the fears that the Unreal Engine would be eviscerated by other developers with catastrophic results, is also picking up half the win.
But for the time being, it looks like Fortnite will not be able to return to the App Store the way Epic hopes. Epic's lawyers argued that they "can't go back to an anti-competitive agreement," but now that they've been pushed back by the courts that there's no reason to begin fee avoidance at this time, they may have no choice but to remove the direct payment option, bring the app back, and continue their legal battle that doesn't directly affect their customers.
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.