Apple vs. Fortnite judge splits the difference

From Bloomberg’s “Apple Judge ‘Inclined’ to Unblock Epic’s Unreal Engine But Not Fortnite” posted Monday:

The judge hearing Apple Inc.’s fight with Epic Games Inc.said she’s “inclined” not to order the iPhone maker to immediately reinstate the Fortnite app as the companies faced off in their first courtroom showdown.

But U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said during a hearing Monday that the dispute over Apple’s App Store isn’t a “slam dunk” for either side. She was sympathetic to the game developer’s argument that Apple retaliated against it by threatening to cut off Epic’s graphics technology, known as Unreal Engine, a suite of software used by millions of developers to build 3-D games and other products…

[T]he judge also said Apple’s decision to block access to the Unreal Engine “does to me look retaliatory.”

The bigger issue in the case is whether Apple’s control over its App Store amounts to a monopoly. Apple isn’t alone in taking a commission. Rogers noted that Epic takes a 12% cut from third-party game developers in its store that offers computer games.

“The definition of the market will be an interesting and complicated issue.“ Rogers said. “The battle here will not be won or lost on a temporary restraining order” or a preliminary injunction, she said.

My take: The Unreal Engine is the real deal. Just ask the creators of the Mandalorian, Westworld and Game of Thrones, to name a few.

10 Comments

    • Fred Stein said:
      Thanks David for the link to “crazy whiners”, one of which is MSFT. MSFT brags about the openness of their platform for apps. That same platform was plagued by viruses for years due to openness.

      2
      August 25, 2020
    • Kirk DeBernardi said:
      @ David Emery —

      Bravo! Thanks so much for that link. Tells it like it really is and cuts through this silly smokescreen of what’s really going down on the subject.

      Everyone. Go to David’s “The Joy of Tech” link for a good laugh AND a quick education about Epic’s “in-your-face” actions against Apple.

      (They obviously had illusions of grandeur way back when they named their company.)

      1
      August 25, 2020
  1. Dave Ryder said:
    Seems like that would be a reasonable state until the bigger issue is all sorted out.

    0
    August 25, 2020
  2. Jerry Doyle said:
    “…. She was sympathetic to the game developer’s argument that Apple retaliated against it by threatening to cut off Epic’s graphics technology, known as Unreal Engine, a suite of software used by millions of developers to build 3-D games and other products…”.

    Banning the Fortnite app was clear to me, but Apple reasoning for banning “Unreal Engine” was more nebulous. So much in these areas is predicated on perceptions. I wonder with specificity the reasons Apple banned Unreal Engine. Can anyone provide clarity, with specificity? It did seem to me that the issue was Fortnite. Why did it also become Unreal Engine?

    0
    August 25, 2020
    • Kirk DeBernardi said:
      @ Jerry D. —

      “I wonder with specificity the reasons Apple banned Unreal Engine.”

      From what I understand, Apple is not banning Unreal Engine directly. They’re threatening to remove Epic’s developer tools — part of the developer program — for their recent non-compliance actions which would then cut authorization and future development of the Unreal Engine which is also licensed from Epic by many others in game development.

      Like taking a carpenter’s tool bag away.

      2
      August 25, 2020
      • Jerry Doyle said:
        @Kirk DeBernardi: Thanks for the information Kirk!

        0
        August 25, 2020
      • Gregg Thurman said:
        IOW, Apple upped the ante, but wisely gave Epic an out.

        0
        August 25, 2020
        • Bart Yee said:
          @Gregg Thurman let’s just say that Apple, w/the proverbial shot across the bow, reminded Epic there are many other facets to being a developer, & not a right but a privilege, plus an agreed upon contract w/Apple’s business terms.

          Apple scouted the land, built arenas, created courts, put up various hoops & baskets, + most importantly, put the fans in the seats. Then they gave you, for a modest fee, ways to create your play to engage fans & users. It’s up to you, developer, to entertain those fans & compete w/all other developers in that arena.

          What developers can’t seem to comprehend is the willingness of fans to keep coming to Apple Arenas because Apple built AND maintains those arenas – clean, well stocked, tasty treats, comfortable accommodations, myriad ways for fans to interact, & above all, supremely safe & private. Apple checks all credentials of both users & developers at the door + continually reviews them EVERY time they interact. Bad actors get warnings or booted.

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          August 25, 2020
        • Bart Yee said:
          Continued
          For all of this, Apple charges fans a price of admission, which they are willing AND able to pay. Apple allows the players (developers) (revenue sharing) a stipulated contract amount while getting it’s part of the gate for providing all of the above, ITS NOT FREE!! Revenue for both depends on how well the player entertains.

          Want to play in Apple’s Arenas w/new arenas built every Sept? Or go to other big rowdy Stadiums w/less security, or fields & venues & play to smaller crowds, cheaper crowds, or 2nd tier less secure joints?

          Your choice. Or figure out how to build your own arenas.

          0
          August 25, 2020

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