When Epic Games sued Apple, it looked like the fight would center on Fortnite. But, Apple decided to expand the ban against Epic Games, revoking the company's developer license effective at the end of their month. This move had a significantly bigger impact than just preventing iPhone owners from playing one of the most popular games in the world. It meant that everyone who uses Unreal Engine to build their apps and games for iPhone, iPad, and macOS, would lose that core. To express just how important Unreal Engine is to the software world, even GMS's new Hummer uses it for the infotainment system.
This week, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in favor of both companies. The court upheld the injunction against Epic Games, allowing Apple to keep Fortnite out of the App Store but also put in place a permanent injunction against Apple, preventing them from blocking Unreal Engine.
There was little chance that the court would put in place a temporary stay of the ban against the game, but it is a good thing to see that Apple cannot harm Unreal Engine. So many apps and games use Unreal Engine to build their products that this move would have negatively harmed most of Apple's customers almost immediately. While it was designed as a gaming engine, it has been used for drone flight controllers, enterprise applications, and now even vehicle computer systems.
This is still just the beginning of the battle between these two companies. The next major court date will be in May 2021, when the primary issue will be heard. That case will have lasting ramifications to the mobile world, no matter which direction the ruling goes. We also expect whichever company loses to appeal until the Supreme Court weighs in. With that said, this court case could pend for a long time, if Google and Oracle is any indication.