Update: Epic Games has confirmed that Apple has granted an extension to the Sign In With Apple ban, however, the Fortnite developer is still cautioning fans to login to their accounts and change the password as soon as possible to avoid being locked out of Fortnite by a future block. Changing from the Sign In With Apple authentication to another option, like a username-password or Google account, will allow players to continue to access Fortnite on consoles, Mac and PC even if the extension is brought to an end, or the ban implemneted.

In a tweet about the change from Apple, whcih was announced minutes before the block was supposed to come into force, Epic Games stated: “Apple previously stated they would terminate ‘Sign In with Apple’ support for Epic Games accounts after Sept 11, 2020, but today provided an indefinite extension. We still recommend you prepare your accounts now for ‘Sign In with Apple’ removal.”

The original article, which was published before the U-turn on the immediate Sign In With Apple block, follows below…

Fortnite fans could find themselves locked out of their Epic Games account today – preventing them from firing up a game of Fortnite on consoles including the PlayStation 4, Xbox and Nintendo Switch. That’s because Apple has pulled the ability to access Epic Games accounts using its Sign In With Apple system.

For those who don’t know, Sign In With Apple lets you login to an account with your existing Apple ID (that’s the username and password you use when sorting out iCloud subscriptions and buying apps from the App Store). Since Apple only needs to quickly authenticate that it’s you using either Face ID or Touch ID, it can be a much faster way of creating an account with a third-party app and getting straight into the action – instead of signing in with a social media account, or filling out forms and choosing another new password.

Unfortunately for those who opted to use the Sign In With Apple button when setting up Fortnite on their iPhone or iPad for the first time, Apple has started to pull the feature – starting today, September 11, 2020 – for all iOS apps from Epic Games. That means Fortnite players could be left without knowing their own password to login on other devices.

To prevent players from being left stranded without access to their account, the Fortnite developer has issued a call to action to all iPhone owners to immediately head to their settings and change the password associated with their Epic Games account.

The Battle Royale devs said: “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 have previously used ‘Sign In with Apple’, please update your Epic Games account email address and password immediately so that you can still login after September 11, 2020.”

Phew, it might not all be bad news for iPhone owners this month

If you’ve missed the deadline, Epic Games states: “If you were unable to update your email address prior to ‘Sign In with Apple’ support ending and are no longer seeing ‘Sign In with Apple’ as a login option, we still may be able to recover your account manually.

“Please contact us and provide us with the verification code that was in the email you received about this (the email subject line is: “IMPORTANT! Epic Games account update required for continued access”). The verification code you received should look like this: ABC-123-DEF”

The decision to pull support for Sign In With Apple is the latest move in an increasingly messy dispute between Apple and Epic Games. The latter introduced its own payment option into its world-conquering Fortnite title earlier this summer to avoid paying the 30 percent cut that Apple deducts from all digital purchases made through apps distributed within the App Store. Epic Games offered to players a discount in exchange for using its own payment system – and helping the game developer side-step the cut usually charged by Apple.

Introducing an alternative payment system to the one provided by Apple to allow iOS and iPadOS developers is against the terms of service for the App Store and Fortnite was swiftly removed. Fortnite was also dropped from the Google Play Store for the same offence, however, Android users are permitted to download and install applications from the official Epic Games website – so it’s still possible to play the hugely-popular title on Android devices. Apple restricts all iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad models to only run software from the App Store.

According to Apple, this prevents malware and other undesirable software making its way onto iPhone and iPad. However, it does also mean that developers have no way to avoid the 30 percent handed over to Apple for every digital purchase.