Microsoft stepped into the ongoing drama between Epic Games and Apple this past weekend by filing a statement in support of Epic's request to keep access to the Apple SDK for its Unreal Engine, and in a temporary restraining order, a judge has now ruled in favour of Epic in that regard (via The Verge).
According to Epic, Apple had planned to cut off the company's access to all development tools necessary to create software for Apple's platforms on August 28th, including the Unreal Engine used by many third-party developers, which Microsoft had suggested could cause significant harm to the games industry at large.
In the official ruling, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers concluded that Apple wouldn't be required to restore Fortnite to the App Store after Epic broke its in-app purchase rules, but that the dispute shouldn't extend to Unreal Engine and "create havoc to bystanders":
"The record shows significant potential damage to the Unreal Engine platform itself, and to the gaming industry generally, including on both third-party developers and gamers. The public context in which this injury arises differs significantly: not only has the underlying agreement not been breached, but the economy is in dire need of increasing avenues for creativity and innovation, not eliminating them.
Epic Games and Apple are at liberty to litigate against each other, but their dispute should not cause havoc to bystanders."
This isn't the end of the conflict between Epic Games and Apple, with a hearing for a preliminary injunction scheduled for September 28th. For now though, Unreal Engine will remain protected on iOS and MacOS.
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