This week Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers heard arguments pertaining to Epic Games’ Fortnite being removed from the Apple App Store.
As you will recall, Epic Games sought to bypass Apple’s in-app payments by allowing Fortnite players to make purchases through Epic Games directly. This is a violation of the App Store’s guidelines.
Epic Games is seeking a temporary injunction which would force Apple to reinstate Fortnite on its App store while a larger court case regarding the matter plays out.
But that is looking less likely the longer this case goes on.
In a report by CNN, Gonzalez Rogers labelled Epic Games’ tactics as dishonest.
“You did something, you lied about it by omission, by not being forthcoming. That’s the security issue. That’s the security issue!” the judge said.
“There are a lot of people in the public who consider you guys heroes for what you guys did, but it’s still not honest.”
While Epic Games argued that Apple’s rules for developers harm competition, innovation and consumers on the platform.
The game developer/publisher accused Apple of illegal tying.
But the judge wasn’t really persuaded by Epic Games’ argument.
“I’m not particularly persuaded. I just don’t see this as a separate and distinct product,” Gonzalez Rogers said of the Apple in-app payment system.
Worse still for Epic Games, Gonzalez Rogers challenged the firm on its claims that Fortnite being omitted from the app store had harmed tens of millions of users.
The judge said that iOS is not the only option for Fortnite players to enjoy the game.
As for Epic Games’ dislike of Apple’s “walled garden” approach to its eco-system, well that was also challenged by the judge.
“Nintendo has had a walled garden. Sony has had a walled garden. Microsoft has had a walled garden. What Apple’s doing is not much different… It’s hard to ignore the economics of the industry, which is what you’re asking me to do,” Gonzalez Rogers said.
So what was the outcome aside from some zingers from the judge? According to The New York Times, a decision regarding whether Apple should reinstate Fortnite while the case is heard will be made in the coming days.
That’s going to be important because Gonzalez Rogers says that the case is unlikely to go to trial before July 2021 and she would prefer the case be tried before a jury.