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Epic Games Denied in Emergency Bid to Restore ‘Fortnite’ to Apple App Store

(Image credit: Epic Games)

Epic Games received mixed news from a federal judge in its closely watched app store battle with Apple. 

In rulings delivered late Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers denied the game maker’s bid for an emergency order that would restore the online multi-player game Fortnite to Apple’s App Store.

The judge did, however, issue a restraining order that keeps Apple from blocking developer updates for Epic’s gaming engine, Unreal Engine. 

Epic Games will have another shot to restore Fortnite to Apple’s App Store on September 28, when the court considers its request for a preliminary injunction. 

Also read: News Pubs to Apple: Give Us the Same Favorable 15% App Store Terms You Offer Amazon

Epic Games is pushing back in court against both Apple and Google, which charge the game maker—and almost everyone else, including streaming video companies—30% of revenue when they distribute their apps through the tech giants’ respective app stores. 

Epic strategically initiated the battle earlier this month, when it directed Fortnite players to purchase in-game currency directly from the game maker, and not Apple and Google. The Fortnite app was promptly removed from both the Apple App Store and Google Play, and Epic filled lawsuits against both tech giants. 

Apple subsequently expanded the battle, threatening to pull developer access to Unreal Engine, a product that was not part of Epic’s strategic agenda. 

Last week, Digital Content Next, a trade organization representing the New York TimesWashington Post and the Wall Street Journal and other news publishers, sent a letter to Apple services chief Eddie Cue, inquiring why some publishers—notably Amazon and its Prime Video app, which shares only 15% of revenue—are able to gain more favorable terms with Apple.