Apple was spared from having to immediately reinstate Epic Games’s Fortnite to its App Store—an early court victory for the iPhone maker in an intensifying battle over the tolls charged to app makers.
But U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’s ruling late Monday wasn’t a total loss for Epic, as she granted the company’s request for a temporary order blocking Apple from limiting the game developer’s ability to provide Unreal Engine, key graphics technology, for other apps.
The mixed ruling comes as Apple faces a backlash from some app developers who say its standard App Store fee of 30 percent and other policies are unfair and are designed to benefit the iPhone maker’s own services. The fight blew up Aug. 13 when Epic told customers customers it would begin offering a discounted direct-purchase plan for items in Fortnite, and Apple then removed the game app, cutting off access for access for more than a billion iPhone and iPad customers.
Apple said the judge’s ruling recognizes that Epic’s problem is “entirely self-inflicted.”
“Our very first priority is making sure App Store users have a great experience in a safe and trusted environment, including iPhone users who play Fortnite and who are looking forward to the game’s next season,” the company said in a statement. “We agree with Judge Gonzalez-Rogers that ‘the sensible way to proceed’ is for Epic to comply with the App Store guidelines and continue to operate while the case proceeds.”
Epic didn’t respond to a request for comment.