Epic's legal action against Apple may have "significant and serious ramifications" for the rest of the gaming industry

(Image credit: Epic Games)

A judge investigating the ongoing dispute between Apple and Epic Games has revealed that regardless of the final judgement, the feud is likely to have "significant and serious ramifications" for the rest of the gaming industry, including Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft.

On Friday the court denied Epic's appeal to be reinstated to the App Store (opens in new tab), but did issue an order that would stop Apple from also removing Unreal Engine support until the case was resolved. Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers also intimated, however, that the case will likely impact other companies that charge a fee for selling its digital products on a system with no competition, such as the digital stores on the Nintendo Switch, the PS4, and Xbox One.

"Indeed, Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft all operate similar walled gardens or closed platform models as Apple, whereby the hardware, operating system, digital marketplace, and IAPs are all exclusive to the platform owner," the judge said. "A final decision should be better informed regarding the impact of the walled garden model given the potential for significant and serious ramifications for Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft and their video game platforms."

"Epic Games' avers that the iOS platform is unique from other gaming devices," the Judge added (thanks, VGC (opens in new tab)). "Specifically, Epic Games argues that gaming consoles and computers require electrical outlets and separate screens and thus lack capacity for mobile play, which demands portable, battery operated, and cellularly connected devices with built-in screens.

"Yet, Epic Games repeatedly ignored discussion of gaming laptops, tablets, and the Nintendo Switch, all of which can be played in a mobile fashion. These devices could have significant overlap with the iOS platform in terms of the ultimate consumer.

"Again, however, at this stage, the record does not contain sufficient information to determine whether such other devices are economic substitutes or are merely complimentary to iOS devices."

Meanwhile, some chancers are trying to sell iPhones with Fortnite installed for thousands of dollars (opens in new tab).

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GameIndustry.biz. Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.