Judge blocks Apple from retaliating against Unreal Engine, Fortnite to remain off App Store

A federal judge on Friday granted Epic Games’ petition to prohibit any action by Apple against the Unreal Engine, but denied the game maker’s bid to reinstate Fortnite to the App Store.

In her ruling, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers granted in part and denied in part Epic’s preliminary injunction that sought to both protect an affiliate developer account that maintains the Unreal Engine and force Apple to restore Fortnite after it was pulled for implementing a rule-breaking direct payment option.

The ruling cements an earlier decision from August and ensures the current state of affairs remains unchanged throughout a pending bench trial.

Following an initial attempt to return Fortnite to the App Store, Epic launched a second legal effort in September. During in-court hearings, Gonzales Rogers was largely unpersuaded to take early action by either party. She noted a heavy burden fell on Epic to prove Apple’s alleged antitrust misconduct, and the company simply failed to piece together a cogent argument.

“While consumers are feeling the impact of this litigation, the fact remains: these are business disputes. A putative class action on behalf of all developers on these

exact same issues was already in progress when EpicGames breached the agreements,” Gonzales Rogers said in today’s ruling. “Yet, Epic Games has never adequately explained its rush, other than its disdain for the situation. The current predicament is of its own making.”

Likewise, Apple failed to successfully argue that maintaining Epic’s affiliate developer account — Epic International — poses risk of irreparable harm. Removing the account, however, would deprive developers of access to the Unreal Engine.

“Apple’s aggressive targeting of separate contracts in an attempt to eradicate Epic Games and its affiliates fully from the iOS platform was unnecessary and imperiled a thriving third-party developer ecosystem,” the jurist

GMC’s all-electric Hummer will be the first car with software built using Epic’s Unreal Engine



a screen shot of a computer


© Image: Epic Games


Fortnite creator Epic Games is partnering with carmakers, starting with General Motors, to use its Unreal Engine game development platform to build in-car software in what Epic is calling its “human-machine interface” (HMI) initiative. The first car to use Unreal Engine, which is the primary software toolset with which developers make Fortnite and countless other big-budget video games, will be GMC’s upcoming Hummer EV, set to be unveiled on October 20th.

The logic is simple: modern cars are primarily designed using software, and assembled cars carry scores of onboard computers and rely on touchscreens and digital interfaces to power infotainment centers and other sources of information displayed to drivers. And Unreal Engine is a great platform for building software, which Epic thinks makes it a great platform for building the software that goes into cars.

“When you sit in the driver’s seat of a modern car today, the way you interact with the vehicle is different from a few years ago. Buttons and screens dominate the dashboard, steering wheel, and instrument pane, providing features that may be new to you. Electrification is at the root of many of these advances, with digital hardware such as cameras, sensors, and displays, combined with cutting-edge technology like Unreal Engine, forming a framework on which to build new experiences,” the company explains in a blog post. “At Epic Games, we’ve long been interested in the way the requirements for HMI development overlap with those of game development. Much of the functionality required to create HMI systems has been available in Unreal Engine for some time.”



a screen shot of a computer


© Image: Epic Games


Epic says carmakers like GMC and the user interface and user experience designers tasked with crafting the software that car owners will interact with in the finished product can do more