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Apple can block Fortnite from its app store, judge rules

Apple can block Fortnite from its app store, judge rules

Court however orders Apple to restore Unreal Engine

A judge has denied Epic Games’ motion to temporarily restore Fortnite Game to the iOS App Store, in a major blow to the game developer.

However, the judge also ordered Apple not to block Unreal Engine, a game development platform owned by Epic Games.

Fortnite was kicked out of Apple’s app stores earlier this month when Epic provided gamers on iOS and Android the ability to pay for Fortnite directly. Apple and Google require game developers on their platforms to not only pay a 30 per cent commission of the transaction amount, but also use their respective payment processing systems.

Apple promptly removed Fortnite-arguably the best-selling mobile game to date-as well as Unreal Engine from its platform.

Epic Games accuses Apple and Google of monopolistic tendencies, arguing the 30 per cent cut on in-app purchases is “exorbitant.”

In its court filing, Epic Games described Apple as a “monopoly power” and accusing it of “unfair and anti-competitive actions.” The complaint alleges that “Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation.”

The game developer then embarked on a media blitz, seeking public support against Apple. In a blog post, Epic Games encourages Fortnite players to fight against Apple’s “app tax” by using the hashtag #FreeFortnite on social platforms.

Microsoft, locked in a separate battle of its own with Apple, declared support for Epic, filing an appendix to Epic’s request for a restraining order over the weekend.

Read: Microsoft sides with Epic Games in legal fight against Apple

Microsoft plans to launch xCloud, a cloud game streaming service, this September. But the service won’t be available on iOS devices because Microsoft isn’t submitting each game on its streaming service to Apple’s review process as required. Hence, the app that enables access to those games is being blocked from publishing by Apple.

Microsoft has criticised the move, arguing that, Apple “stands alone as the only general-purpose platform to deny consumers from cloud gaming and game subscription services.”

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