The battle between Epic Games and Apple may have started several weeks ago, but it’s far from being over. A recent hearing focused on Epics’ request for an injunction that would restore the Fortnite on the App Store has been surprisingly bad for the renowned video games developer and publisher.
Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers criticized Epic actions, noting that the company wasn’t honest when it released the update that allowed users to use a direct payment system, a feature which is against the guidelines imposed by Apple.
According to the judge, Epic’s actions can actually help Apple to maintain the argument that it protects users from nefarious apps. A lie by omission and the introduction of a banned feature via a patch can be interpreted as a breach of security.
Epic Games has tried to argue that Apple’s strategy to force developers to use its dedicated payment system is similar to tying, a practice that involves the use of bundles to force users to purchase several products, even if they only need access to a single one. The practice is acknowledged and mentioned on the FTC website.
However, Judge Gonzales Roberts remained unimpressed, mentioning that in her opinion, in-app payments can be perceived as a separate or distinct product. She also argued that the removal of Fortnite from the App Store hasn’t hurt Epic Games as much as the company claims.
While a ruling hasn’t been granted at this point, it is clear that Epic Games will have to work harder if it wants to obtain an injunction in the long run. Since walled gardens have been popular in the industry for decades, Epic Games might receive support from some, but others aren’t as keen on a breach of the status quo.
A ruling for the injection could be announced in the following weeks.