The past couple of weeks seems to have been quite stressful for the developers of Unreal Engine and, subsequently, Fortnite.
This situation has mainly arisen due to the threat that Epic Games has received from Apple for filing a lawsuit against their “Monopolistic Policies.”
For those unaware, recently, Epic Games released an update for Fortnite, which had a bit of a problem for both Apple and Google.
Basically, after the update, players would be able to purchase V-bucks, the in-game currency of Fortnite, from the developers themselves.
The change removes the role of the payment system that Apple and Google have set up for their platforms.
As one would expect, both the companies quickly took action and removed the game from their app stores. Because of this, Epic Games filed a lawsuit against the companies on the grounds of “Antitrust.”
The lawsuit seems to have triggered Apple, as they threatened to remove the rights of Epic Games to develop using their game engine, the Unreal Engine, for iOS.
They are stating that they will remove the developer account of Epic Games from their platform.
If this does happen, Epic Games will have to kiss the dream of developing games for Apple goodbye!
So, to prevent such a situation from arising, Epic Games now seeks a restraining order on Apple, for which there was an online court discussion on Monday.
The actual court hearing won’t be taking place anytime soon and it is cited to take place around April of next year.
Considering how Apple is looking to eradicate the developer from its platform, this court discussion was of utmost importance for Epic Games.
However, the results from the discussion were a little less than favourable for the company.
US district judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has, for the time being, stamped Apple with a temporary restraining order that forbids them from removing Epic’s Developer account and their property from the platform.
On the other hand, Epic has now been denied the right to update the Unreal Engine on Apple’s platform.
But a genuine blow to Epic came from the next order from the Judge, according to which, it is no longer necessary for Apple to keep Fortnite, or any other application from Epic Games, on their app store.
The basis for this order mainly relates to how Epic Games created the entire predicament on their own, and they are the only ones that should be held responsible and accountable here.
Despite countless efforts by Epic’s lawyer at explaining how this order may cause irreparable damage to the company and harm its reputation amongst the consumers, Apple stood its stance, claiming that the situation can be easily reverted if Epic removes the update and once again sets Apple’s payment system as the primary one for in-app purchases.
What they do now is up to them. Of course, Epic Games may have lost this time, but I can safely say that they won’t give up that easily.
Until the actual hearing in 2021, one can easily expect countless efforts from their side to win this seemingly one-sided battle.
After all, “they may have lost the battle today, but the war is still on!”