A California-based judge commented on the controversy over Epic's Fortnite game, Bloomberg news agency said. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said on Monday that Apple's threat to close Epic's developer account and at the same time cripple Epic's Unreal Engine game engine could go too far. According to the judge, this “looks like a retaliatory measure to me”.
Read more: Apple's Fortnite dispute swells to new heights: "Existential threat"
Apple removed Epic’s hit game from its Fortnite App Store after Epic allowed players to buy in-game currency at a lower price when it bought it directly from Epic past Apple. Apple typically grabs a 30 percent slice of shopping, which Epic believes violates the law. Epic sued Apple and is suing Google over the same matter.
In retaliation, Apple threatened to close Epic’s developer account on Friday this week if Epic does not cancel its change to Fortnite. As a result, Epic would no longer be able to run the Unreal Engine game engine on Apple’s platforms, which would be reflected in numerous other game developers and their games. One of these is Microsoft, which has warned of the consequences of a possible blockade.
Read more: Microsoft intervened in Apple's Fornite dispute - issued a serious warning
Judge Rogers, after all, is unwilling to force Apple to make Fortnite available immediately. According to him, the district courts are not a cross-talk to either party. The biggest question is whether Apple’s power from the App Store will form a monopoly. Rogers is wondering where 30 percent really comes from and why it couldn’t be some lower amount.
Rogers charred both Epic and Apple for over an hour with difficult questions. He said he would issue an interim decision on the dispute soon. A longer-term solution will be discussed at a hearing on 28 September.