Apple can permanently block the game Fortnite: a US judge

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San Francisco, Oct 10 (IANS) A US judge has ruled that Apple can continue to permanently block the popular game Fortnite, but has stopped the Cupertino-based iPhone maker from retaliating against the open 3D creation platform and in real-time Unreal Engine owned by Epic Games which is also the developer of Fortnite.

On Friday, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers declined to grant Epic Games a preliminary injunction against Apple, reports The Verge.

“Epic Games and Apple are free to litigate this action for the future of the digital frontier, but their dispute must not create havoc for passersby,” the judge said.

The judge, however, allowed Apple to permanently block Fortnite, which has more than 350 million monthly active players and is available on multiple platforms.

Daily active users of the Fortnite game have dropped by more than 60% on Apple iOS devices since the ban.

Apple deleted Epic Games’ account from its App Store and removed the Fortnite game earlier on August 13 for adding an in-app payment system in violation of App Store rules.

Unless Epic decides to remove its own in-app payment mechanism that sparked the bitter legal wrangle in August, it has no chance of bringing Fortnite back to the App Store.

“Epic Games is grateful that Apple will continue to be prohibited from retaliation against Unreal Engine and our game development customers as litigation continues,” an Epic spokesperson said in a statement.

An Apple spokesperson added, “We are grateful that the court recognized that Epic’s actions were not in the best interests of its own customers and that any issues they may have had were of done to them when they violated their agreement”.

While Epic Games blamed Apple for restricting its App Store business, the iPhone maker said the arguments were “headline” and “self-serving.”

In its latest court filing, Apple said Epic benefited from Apple’s promotion and development tools, earning more than $600 million through the App Store.

In its court filing, Apple denied that its 30% commission was anti-competitive, saying it was Epic Games that breached its contract.

Epic Games said in the motion that more than 116 million registered Fortnite players have accessed the game through Apple devices.

“Apple is a monopoly. It controls all app distribution on iOS. It controls all in-app payment processing for digital content on iOS. or the other market,” Epic Games said in the court filing.

–IANS

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