Epic Games has been granted a temporary restraining order to protect the Unreal Engine.
As detailed in court documents, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers made the ruling with an immediate effect. The order will prevent Apple from removing Epic's developer accounts, and allow other studios to continue to use the development tools. The games giant filed for an injunction to protect its software last week.
"Apple has chosen to act severely, and by doing so, has impacted non-parties, and a third-party developer ecosystem. In this regard, the equities do weigh against Apple," said Rogers.
"With respect to the Unreal Engine and the developer tools, the calculus changes. The record shows potential significant damage to both the Unreal Engine platform itself and, and to the gaming industry generally, including on both third-party developers and gamers."
However, it is only a partial victory for the Fortnite creator, as Rogers has not ordered Apple to reinstate Fortnite to the App Store. Instead, the judge claimed it to be a predicament of Epic's "own making." The battle royale was removed from the storefront earlier this month after Epic created a new payment option to prevent the tech giant from taking its 30 per cent commission.
"The court finds that with respect Epic Games' motion as to its games, including Fortnite, Epic Games has not yet demonstrated irreparable harm. The current predicament appears of its own making," said Rogers.
Apple has accused Epic of deliberately trying to "cheat" it after it was denied a special deal. Although, it is worth noting that Epic's CEO Tim Sweeney made his email exchange with the tech giant public on Twitter, demonstrating that he did not request an agreement for his company alone, rather all iOS developers. As such, the exec rebutted the cheating accusation by accusing Apple of "misleading" people.
Earlier this week, fellow tech and games giant Microsoft openly backed Epic Games with a legal document of its own, as it explained that removing the Unreal Engine from iOS and Mac would damage many companies, not just Epic.