A federal judge ruled that Apple can continue to ban the popular video game Fortnite from its app store, while the iPhone manufacturer is facing an antitrust lawsuit by the game’s publisher, Epic Games.
The ruling means that for the foreseeable future, millions of “Fortnite” players who access the game through iPads, iPhones, or other Apple devices will still be unable to play the latest game content or download app updates.
Epic Games filed a lawsuit against Apple in August after Apple removed Fortnite from its statute. Apple blamed Epic Games for deliberately breaching the terms of the developer’s contract when Epic Games sought to circumvent Apple’s in-app payment system – using a software update that encouraged Fortnite players to purchase in-game currency directly from Epic Games.
The move means that Apple cannot take its 30% share of Fortnite’s revenue on iOS, which has prompted it to ban Fortnite and Unreal Engine, an Epic Games-owned software tool widely used by game developers and Hollywood.
In federal court, “Epic Games” asked Judge Yvonne Gonzalez for a preliminary injunction that would return “Fortnite” to the Apple App Store. It also demanded a ruling preventing Apple from retaliating against the company and its subsidiaries abroad.
While Gonzalez’s decision did not allow Fortnite to return to the Apple Store, she ruled that Unreal Engine or IPIC’s subsidiaries should not be penalized by Apple.