Unreal Engine is now safe from Apple’s impending removal. The judge handling the Epic vs. Apple trial permanently blocked the tech giant for the trial duration.
Unreal Engine is the game engine developed by Tim Sweeney and owned by Epic Games. The Engine, used by many games on both iOS and different platforms, is crucial for mobile devs. With Apple unable to touch it, the company is now unable to use it as a hostage.
Judge prevents “adverse action” against “Epic Affiliates”
The trial between Epic and Apple is not going to start until May next year. Until then, there were fears of an Apple retaliation, not against Epic but against their Engine. The potential disabling of dev accounts for Unreal can be destructive for the industry.
Unreal is one of the most versatile and most powerful gaming engines available. Devs from both PC, mobile, and even console rely on it to work. For the iOS dev space, its loss can mean security issues for the entire industry.
United States District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers made a recent restraining order permanent. In an order filed last Friday, October 9, Rogers prevents Apple from taking action against Epic. The order is in regard to the current Apple Dev Program.
“Apple and all persons in active concert or participation with Apple, are preliminarily enjoined from taking adverse action against the Epic Affiliates with respect to restricting, suspending or terminating the Epic Affiliates from the Apple’s Developer Program, on the basis that Epic Games enabled IAP direct processing in Fortnite through means other than the Apple IAP system, or on the basis of the steps Epic Games took todo so,” said the conclusion.
Unreal protected for public, not for Epic
The protection given to Unreal Engine is not there to help Epic Games at all. The gaming industry’s mere balance relies on UE staying clear of the spat between Epic and Apple Rogers understands this in deep detail.
“The record shows potential significant damage to both the Unreal Engine platform itself, and to the gaming industry generally, including on both third-party developers and gamers,” says the filing.
“The public context in which this injury arises differs significantly: not only has the underlying agreement not been breached, but the economy is in dire need of increasing avenues for creativity and innovation, not eliminating them. Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate against each other, but their dispute should not create havoc to bystanders…”
Though Unreal Engine will have its support continued for iOS devs, Fortnite isn’t so lucky. The game may as well be dead on the iOS, with the courts denying its reinstatement. Though a previous compromise came, Epic declined to work with Apple.
Featured image courtesy of Unreal Engine/Youtube Screenshot