A California federal judge said Apple Inc. doesn't have to return the popular videogame "Fortnite" to its App Store but maintained that the tech giant can't block the game's creator from accessing its critical software development tools.
The ruling means that, for the foreseeable future, millions of Fortnite players who access the game on iPhones, iPads and other Apple devices will remain unable to play the game's latest content or download app updates.
Though Fortnite players will not be able to download or update the game on Apple devices, Epic's other product, software tool Unreal Engine, can continue to be distributed via the Apple Store.
Epic Games sued Apple in August after Apple removed Fortnite from its platform. Apple blamed Epic for deliberately breaching the terms of its developer contract when Epic sought to circumvent Apple's in-app payment system — using a software update that encouraged Fortnite players to buy in-game currency directly from Epic Games.