Epic Games says that Apple will no longer terminate support of its 'Sign in with Apple' feature for users logging into the game developer's apps starting on Sept. 11.
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Instead, the game developer said the tech giant has now provided a "indefinite extension" on the feature, though it is still recommending that users update the email and password of their Epic Games account.
While declining to officially comment to FOX Business, Apple noted it is not doing anything to stop Sign in with Apple accounts from working with Epic Games.
The announcement comes as tensions continue to simmer between the two companies, with Apple filing a countersuit this week after Epic filed a new injunction to be reinstated on the App Store amid an ongoing legal battle sparked by its decision to create a direct payment system that skirts a 30% commission fee to the tech giant.
Apple has accused Epic of committing a "flagrant breach of contract" and is seeking "restitution and disgorgement of all earnings, profits, compensation, benefits, and other ill-gotten gains" obtained by the Fortnite creator through its direct payment system. The comapny is also seeking damages for harm to its reputation from frustrated Fortnite players and a public relations campaign against Apple that includes a parody of the company's "1984" television commercial and playable character "Tart Tycoon," who bears some resemblance to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
In addition, Apple has asked the court to disable Epic's payment system altogether.
"Epic’s lawsuit is nothing more than a basic disagreement over money," Apple wrote in the filing. "Although Epic portrays itself as a modern corporate Robin Hood, in reality it is a multi-billion dollar enterprise that simply wants to pay nothing for the tremendous value it derives from the App Store."
The move caught the attention of Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, who claimed in a Twitter thread that Apple may have "lost all sight of the tech industry's founding principles" for believing the dispute was simply over money.
"Money is several layers removed, as the medium of exchange between users who choose to buy digital items, and the creators who made them," Sweeney added. "Epic isn't even seeking monetary damages. We are fighting for change!"
He argued that the "foundation" of the App Store dispute is about creators' right to "build apps, share them with users directly, and do business directly, without being herded through a single centrally planned, anti-competitive store"
Epic filed the latest injunction after Apple officially revoked Epic's access to Mac and iOS development tools on Aug. 28, which prevents the gamemaker from offering updates for Fortnite users playing on Apple devices.
Epic had previously asked the court to block the move, arguing it would cripple its Unreal Engine used by other gaming studios to develop their products, and requested to be reinstated on the App Store. While a judge ruled that Apple couldn't retaliate against the Unreal Engine, Epic's reinstatement was denied, with the judge arguing that the company's "current predicament appears of its own making” after it "strategically chose to breach its agreements with Apple.”
Apple has said it would allow Fortnite back into the store if Epic removes the direct payment feature, but it refused to comply, arguing its removal would "collude with Apple to maintain their monopoly over in-app payments on iOS."
A court hearing on the matter is currently scheduled for Sept. 28.