Epic Games had filed for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Apple to prevent the Cupertino-based tech giant from terminating the game maker’s developer account and reinstating Fortnite on the App Store for iOS. After the hearing in court about the motion of TRO, Judge Gonzalez Rogers had sided with Apple, putting Epic Games in a tricky position. But Apple is now ready to ‘Welcome Fortnite Back Onto iOS,’ according to the company’s latest statement.
According to the court’s order, Apple does not have to place Fortnite back on the App Store for now, nor does it have to offer updates for Fortnite on the app distribution platform. The judge has made it clear that Epic Games has created a problem for itself and the company can reverse it by “taking it back to the status quo.”
However, Apple is ready to solve the issue and welcome Fortnite back onto the App Store for iOS if Epic Games removes the direct payment service from the game and reinstates Apple’s in-app payment service. Commenting on the issue, Apple has shared a statement with Mark Gurman from Bloomberg. Here is what it reads.
We thank the court for recognizing that Epic’s problem is entirely self-inflicted and is in their power to resolve. Our very first priority is making sure App Store users have a great experience in a safe and trusted environment, including iPhone users who play Fortnite and who are looking forward to the game’s next season.
We agree with Judge Gonzalez-Rogers that ‘the sensible way to proceed’ is for Epic to comply with the App Store guidelines and continue to operate while the case proceeds. If Epic takes the steps the judge has recommended, we will gladly welcome Fortnite back onto iOS. We look forward to making our case to the court in September.
The court has also allowed Apple to terminate Epic Games’ developer account from the App Store on 28th August, as Epic is not in compliance with Apple’s rules. While Epic Games’ lawyer did say that the game developer couldn’t “go back into an anticompetitive contract,” it will have to obey to Apple’s rules if the company wants to offer Fortnite to iOS users.
The Judge, however, has blocked Apple from terminating accounts and access to Epic Games related to the development of the Unreal Engine. The Cupertino-based tech giant may have to retain Epic Games’ developer account held under Epic International as it is a separate entity and the game developer has a separate developer contract with Apple through it. While Apple tried to explain to the court that when a developer violates any rules, its main, as well as, linked accounts are terminated, but the judge did not agree to it.