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Epic Games Denied Preliminary Injunction for Fortnite, But Apple Can't Block Unreal Engine

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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A California judge today denied Epic Games' request for a preliminary injunction that would have required Apple to allow Fortnite back into the App Store, which means the app will continue to remain unavailable on Apple's iOS platform for the duration of the legal battle between the two companies.


While the Fortnite app for iOS devices will not be reinstated into the App Store, Epic did successfully win an order that will require Apple to continue to allow Epic to operate its Unreal Engine developer account.

The decisions made today by the court are not a surprise and echo the ruling made during a request for a temporary restraining order, where the judge made the same determinations and allowed Apple to ban the Fortnite app but prevented the Cupertino company from blocking the Unreal Engine.

The court says that in regard to Fortnite, preliminary injunctive relief is "rarely granted," with the ruling pointing out that an order for injunctive relief would require Epic to establish that it is likely to succeed in the legal battle, it is likely to suffer irreparable harm without relief, the balance of equities tips in its favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest, none of which Epic Games was able to do.

Epic Games has claimed that it should be given injunctive relief because it should not have to comply with an anti-competitive App Store contract, but the court has rejected this argument multiple times because Epic Games deliberately breached its contract with Apple and caused Fortnite to be banned.
Epic Games cannot simply exclaim "monopoly" to rewrite agreements giving itself unilateral benefit. Its other identified bases: damage to its reputation and the Fortnite gaming community cannot constitute irreparable harm where such harm flows from Epic Games' own actions and its strategic decision to breach its agreements with Apple. While consumers are feeling the impact of this litigation, the fact remains: these are business disputes.

To assist, the Court even offered to require the 30% to be placed in escrow pending resolution of the trial which Epic Games flatly rejected. The refusal to do so suggests Epic Games is not principally concerned with iOS consumers, but rather, harbors other tactical moves. Epic Games admits that the technology exists to "fix" the problem by easily deactivating the "hotfix."
Apple and Epic Games are not expected to be back in court to continue the legal dispute until May of 2021, so Fortnite fans will be without access to the game on Apple's devices for some time. Apple in August terminated the Fortnite developer account.

Update: In a statement provided to Bloomberg, Apple said that it's "grateful" to the court for the decision.
Our customers depend on the App Store being a safe and trusted place where all developers follow the same set of rules. We're grateful the court recognized that Epic's actions were not in the best interests of its own customers and that any problems they may have encountered were of their own making when they breached their agreement. For twelve years, the App Store has been an economic miracle, creating transformative business opportunities for developers large and small. We look forward to sharing this legacy of innovation and dynamism with the court next year.



Article Link: Epic Games Denied Preliminary Injunction for Fortnite, But Apple Can't Block Unreal Engine
 
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farewelwilliams

macrumors 68040
Jun 18, 2014
3,744
15,013
Apple wants Unreal Engine to be made for macOS anyways.

Apple probably blocked Unreal Engine account out of following their own rules. The fact that they've been ordered to keep Unreal Engine is a win for Apple as well. I'm sure Epic would have loved the PR of telling their developers "Well, Apple screwed us and ultimately screwed you".
 

nwcs

macrumors 68000
Sep 21, 2009
1,927
2,566
Tennessee
I liked unreal tournament but I don’t like the direction of Epic these days. I do think 30% is too high a cut and have thought that from the beginning. But I do think they should get some cut. 20% seems fair especially since they are handling payment systems and the various tax laws, etc.

To me developer fee is just a capital expenditure and the Apple cut is an operating cost.
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,938
4,790
an order for injunctive relief would require Epic to establish that it is likely to succeed in the legal battle

How would this be objectively determined? What does "likely" even mean? Is 60% odds of success good enough? 50%? 10%?
 

mkldev

macrumors regular
Apr 1, 2003
162
206
View attachment 964712

Judge finding Epics‘ “credibility” “undermined.”

Umm.. no. Gating new features behind flags so that they can be turned on after an app has been shipped to the user has been standard industry practice in the mobile space for a very long time — pretty much since the dawn of iOS development. I don't know any company out there that doesn't do that, precisely because fully testing a new feature perfectly is hard. So instead, they test it to the maximum extent possible, then turn it on for some subset of users, then eventually turn it on for all users.

The judge's adamant refusal to understand how flag-guarded features work or the difference between a hot patch (uploading new executable code to run on the device itself, which is almost completely infeasible in iOS) and changing server-side or server-gated client-side behavior is not only baffling, but undermines her credibility with the industry.
 

genovelle

macrumors 65816
May 8, 2008
1,106
992
I liked unreal tournament but I don’t like the direction of Epic these days. I do think 30% is too high a cut and have thought that from the beginning. But I do think they should get some cut. 20% seems fair especially since they are handling payment systems and the various tax laws, etc.

To me developer fee is just a capital expenditure and the Apple cut is an operating cost.
How do you determine the value of Apple’s support and investments. It’s kind of like me saying I think your employer is over paying you at $30 an hour that is not only standard in you industry, but that you invest a lot of time and money maintaining your certifications and software tools. If he feels it’s too much he can get someone with less to offer. Like in this case stay in the Google store where they make no money because of piracy and cheapskates.
 

cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
19,788
20,915
California
Umm.. no. Gating new features behind flags so that they can be turned on after an app has been shipped to the user has been standard industry practice in the mobile space for a very long time — pretty much since the dawn of iOS development. I don't know any company out there that doesn't do that, precisely because fully testing a new feature perfectly is hard. So instead, they test it to the maximum extent possible, then turn it on for some subset of users, then eventually turn it on for all users.

The judge's adamant refusal to understand how flag-guarded features work or the difference between a hot patch (uploading new executable code to run on the device itself, which is almost completely infeasible in iOS) and changing server-side or server-gated client-side behavior is not only baffling, but undermines her credibility with the industry.

Epic claimed it was a hot fix. She didn’t come up with that idea on her own. So you can say it is “almost completely infeasible in iOS,” but if that’s what Epic is telling her that they did, what is she supposed to say?
 

Bandaman

macrumors 65816
Aug 28, 2019
1,039
1,952
Umm.. no. Gating new features behind flags so that they can be turned on after an app has been shipped to the user has been standard industry practice in the mobile space for a very long time — pretty much since the dawn of iOS development. I don't know any company out there that doesn't do that, precisely because fully testing a new feature perfectly is hard. So instead, they test it to the maximum extent possible, then turn it on for some subset of users, then eventually turn it on for all users.

The judge's adamant refusal to understand how flag-guarded features work or the difference between a hot patch (uploading new executable code to run on the device itself, which is almost completely infeasible in iOS) and changing server-side or server-gated client-side behavior is not only baffling, but undermines her credibility with the industry.
That’s not the issue. The issue is introducing a feature that violates their agreement with Apple. It’s pretty black and white.


Same. They were actually working on a new version of Unreal Tournament but then Fortnite ended up being so successful so they just stopped. :(

Oh well, UT99 is still awesome.
And I will forever hate them for this.
 

reden

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2006
646
586
Apple's over here like, man we made this platform and created an industry for people to make money, and all we ask is to take a cut, and now they want more after generating billions of dollars for them 🤯🤯🤯
 

mkldev

macrumors regular
Apr 1, 2003
162
206
That’s not the issue. The issue is introducing a feature that violates their agreement with Apple. It’s pretty black and white.

Correct. But the point is that arguing that this is somehow rarely done, or is only done for serious bug fixes is nonsense. Server-gated changes are pretty common. This is doubly true if you're talking about a highly server-driven game.
 

cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
19,788
20,915
California
Correct. But the point is that arguing that this is somehow rarely done, or is only done for serious bug fixes is nonsense. Server-gated changes are pretty common. This is doubly true if you're talking about a highly server-driven game.
I think you missed the point of the footnote. The import of it was not whether it is rarely done or not. Her point is that Epic claimed that Apple was fully aware of the nature of the change when they submitted the hotfix, which is clearly ludicrous. Epic keeps making the straw man argument “there’s nothing wrong with hotfixes!”

And her point is that ”yep, that’s true. the issue isn’t that you made a hot fix. It’s that you hid the functionality enabled by that hot fix, and you know that’s the real issue Epic.”
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors 604
May 30, 2002
7,779
2,731
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I liked unreal tournament but I don’t like the direction of Epic these days. I do think 30% is too high a cut and have thought that from the beginning. But I do think they should get some cut. 20% seems fair especially since they are handling payment systems and the various tax laws, etc.

To me developer fee is just a capital expenditure and the Apple cut is an operating cost.

considering all that Apple does for the 30% and has grown the platform user ownership & retention exponentially over the last 11yrs please explain why a 10% reduction of their cut would be fair, please.
 
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