Epic Judge will Protect Unreal Engine but not Fortnite

Epic Games, Inc. is an American game and software developer and publisher based in Cary, North Carolina. Tim Sweeney founded the corporate as Potomac Computer Systems in 1991, initially located in his parents’ house in Potomac, Maryland. Following his first commercial computer game release, ZZT (1991), the corporate became Epic MegaGames, Inc. in early 1992 and brought on Mark Rein, who is the company’s Vice President to date. Moving their headquarters to Cary in 1999, the studio’s name was simplified to Epic Games. Epic Games develops the Unreal Engine, a commercially available game engine which also powers their internally developed video games, like Fortnite and Unreal, Gears of War, and Infinity Blade series. In 2014, Unreal Engine was named the “most successful videogame engine” by Guinness World Records.

Epic Games owns game developers Chair Entertainment and Psyonix, cloud-based software developer Cloudgine, and operates eponymous sub-studios in Seattle, England, Berlin, Yokohama, and Seoul. While Sweeney remains the majority shareholder, Tencent acquired a 48.4% outstanding stake, equating to 40% of total Epic, within the company in 2012, as part of an agreement aimed toward moving Epic towards games as a service model. Following the release of the popular Fortnite Battle Royale in 2017, the corporate gained additional investments to expand its Unreal Engine offerings, establish esport events around Fortnite and launched the Epic Games Store. As of August 2020, the corporate has a US $17.3 billion equity valuation.

Epic Games just won a temporary restraining order against Apple — at least in part. Effective immediately, Apple cannot retaliate against the corporation by terminating the developer account used to support the company’s Unreal Engine. But within the same ruling, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers decided that Apple won’t be required to bring Fortnite — which it had banned after Epic added an in-app payment system in violation of Apple’s rules — back to the App Store. “The Court finds that concerning Epic Games’ motion on its games, including Fortnite, Epic Games has not yet demonstrated irreparable harm. This predicament appears of its own making,” Rogers wrote, saying that Epic “strategically chose to breach its agreements with Apple” and disturb the established order. But, Rogers wrote, maintaining that established order is why she is ruling that Apple can’t stop access to the Unreal Engine immediately. There, it had been Apple who “has chosen to act severely” by impacting both third-party app developers, also as Epic’s reputation, by threatening the Unreal Engine.

“Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate against each other, but their dispute shouldn’t create havoc to bystanders,” Rogers wrote.

Initially, Epic claimed Apple had intended to chop off Epic’s additional developer accounts this Friday, August 28th, rendering it unable to support the Unreal Engine on iOS. Rogers agrees with Epic that there’s “potential significant damage to both the Unreal Engine platform itself, and to the gaming industry generally,” and suggested that Apple would have a tough time arguing that Epic won’t be harmed if Unreal Engine developers abandon their projects because Epic cannot support them on Apple platforms. during a hearing on Monday, Before the ruling, Judge Rogers had already indicated that she was more swayed by the Unreal Engine’s apparent threat. “I am not inclined to grant relief for the games,” she said at the hearing’s opening, “but I’m inclined to grant relief to the Unreal Engine.” Today’s ruling is restricted in scope, meant only to preserve the established order while the court can hear more detailed arguments concerning a preliminary injunction. That injunction would determine whether Apple can act against Fortnite, the Unreal Engine, or various other Epic products throughout the trial. The two parties are expected to file their arguments within the coming weeks, with a full hearing on the injunction scheduled for September 28th. The court has not settled when it’ll hear discussions on Epic’s claims’ merits, but it’s unlikely to be this year. Asked when they would be prepared to start the trial, Epic’s counsel said they might be prepared within four to six months; Apple suggested a more extended discovery period, with the trial beginning in ten months.

To view the ruling visit the link below:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/7044007-Epic-v-Apple-TRO-Ruling.html#pages/p1

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❤️ I’m a Gamer, Disney nerd and Pom mom. I'm also Head of Design on Paradise Isle, News reporter for Upbeat and GamingLyfe and wife to my Joker September 28th 2019 ❤️

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