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Judge protects Unreal Engine devs in Epic's feud with Apple

However, Fortnite is not getting the same level of protection as both companies prepare for a return to court.

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After Apple threatened to cut off iOS dev support for Unreal Engine, there was a lot of third-party studios that suddenly had skin in the game as Epic continued to take on Apple over the percentage taken by the platform holder from in-app purchases.

Those third-parties can at least breathe a sigh of relief after an American judge ruled in favour of Epic this week, protecting Unreal Engine from Apple's threat to cut off dev support.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers issued a restraining order on Apple, stating that the dispute between the companies "should not create havoc to bystanders".

According to the ruling, which precedes a return to court at some point in the future (likely next year), Apple's move represented "potential significant damage to both the Unreal Engine platform itself, and to the gaming industry generally."

That said, the ruling does not protect Epic's games, specifically Fortnite, as Epic "strategically chose to breach its agreements with Apple which changed the status quo."

"The current predicament appears of [Epic's] own making," Rogers wrote elsewhere in the document.

Now both sides will start preparing to argue their case in court unless a mutually agreeable solution can be found in the meantime. At this stage, it's hard to say how that may turn out, but at least the US legal system is protecting third-party developers who use Unreal Engine.

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