Fortnite players who had hoped for a quick agreement between Apple and Epic Games will be disappointed. The trial between the two companies is not expected to begin until May 2021.
As was made clear during the last meeting of the two sides, the lawyers of Epic Games and Apple will continue to argue before the California court for a long time. At least the expected waiting period until the start will not be as long as initially assumed.
While the court had initially talked about a date in July 2021, it now said that the two parties would be welcomed back in court on the morning of May 3rd, 2021. The reason given was potential conflicts of dates, if the dispute were not to continue until summer 2021. One of the reasons for the delays is the Corona crisis, which has caused the court’s backlog. Added to this is the complexity of the case.
In addition to the start of the main trial, the court has named various other dates for the further course of the proceedings. For example, all experts on both sides are to submit their written reports by February 15th, 2021. Already by October 15th, 2020, both parties are to present a joint agenda.
The dispute between Epic Games and Apple began after Epic allowed in-app purchases in Fortnite without the participation of the iPhone manufacturer and Apple subsequently banned the game from the App Store. Google is also arguing with Epic Games in this regard, as the Android manufacturer also earns money from such in-app purchases. After a similar action by Epic, the game is currently not available in the Play Store.
For Apple, the decision could have fundamental consequences for the future of its own App Store. Currently, the iPhone manufacturer and also Google receive 30 percent of the revenues from such in-app purchases. Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers at the Federal Court for the Northern District of California has not yet indicated which of the two parties she favors. Both Apple and Epic were able to score some points in their first decisions.