Epic says that Apple will prevent users from signing in to Epic Games accounts using its ‘Sign in with Apple‘ feature.
The move is the latest in an ongoing feud between Epic and Apple, a feud that has largely devolved into a battle of endless petty escalation. According to a tweet from Epic, Sign in with Apple will stop working with Epic Games accounts on September 11th, 2020. Further, the company directed users to ensure their email and password are up to date so they can keep using their account once Sign in with Apple stops working.
Apple will no longer allow users to sign into Epic Games accounts using “Sign In with Apple” as soon as September 11, 2020. If you used “Sign In with Apple”, please make sure your email and password are up to date. https://t.co/4XZX5g0eaf
— Epic Games Store (@EpicGames) September 9, 2020
Apple’s move to stop users from signing in to Epic Games accounts with Sign in with Apple is the latest in a series of back-and-forth jabs between the two companies amid an ongoing legal battle. It all started back in August when Epic added an unauthorized payment method to its popular battle royale game Fortnite.
The iPhone-maker responded by kicking Fortnite off the App Store and threatening to ban Epic’s developer accounts — including the one it uses for Unreal Engine, a critical piece of software used by many to develop games or in movie production. Epic sued, accusing Apple of violating antitrust laws and using its control over iOS and the App Store to force app developers into paying the company a commission while blocking out competitors. Specifically, Epic pointed to Apple’s payment policies, which prohibit the use of any payment system outside the one Apple offers, which also demands a 30 percent cut of all payments submitted through it (for subscriptions, that drops to 15 percent after the first year).
Epic argues Fortnite should return to the App Store, Apple seeks damages for harm to its reputation
Courts initially ruled that Apple could remove Fortnite and the related Epic developer account since Epic had violated the App Store’s terms of service, but blocked the iPhone-maker from banning Epic’s other accounts. Apple said it would allow Fortnite back on the App Store if Epic removed the payment method, and the courts urged Epic to do so until a verdict in the case was determined. However, Epic refused, saying it would help prop up Apple’s monopoly. Further, the company filed a preliminary injunction against Apple seeking to have Fortnite reinstated to the App Store.
Apple responded in turn by seeking damages for harm to its reputation caused by Epic, as well as defending its actions so far, claiming the company had legitimate business reasons for everything that it did. It’s worth noting that over the course of the legal battle, Epic engaged in a public relations campaign to paint Apple in a negative light. The campaign included a parody of Apple’s famous ‘1984’ ad that depicted the company as a villainous monopoly, as well as an in-game playable character called ‘Tart Tycoon’ with an apple for its head.
The outcome of this lawsuit will likely have a far-reaching impact — if Epic wins, how Apple and other companies manage digital stores will likely have to change significantly. If Apple wins, it will further secure the company’s App Store model and make similar antitrust challenges more difficult in the future. Despite the importance, however, the pettiness both companies have shown throughout the process is exhausting. Expect Epic to respond to this latest move from Apple with an equally petty jab in the coming days.
Meanwhile, if you have an Epic Games account connected to your Apple ID, make sure you get your account in order before Apple locks you out on the 11th.