Epic Games Is an Unreliable Narrator

Epic Games, in a support document published back on September 9:

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.

And on Twitter, from their Fortnite Status account:

Apple will no longer allow users to sign into Fortnite 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://fn.gg/SIwA

(And a nearly identical tweet from the Unreal Engine account.)

This smelled funny to me from the start, as it made no sense from Apple’s perspective. Shutting Epic off from Sign In With Apple wouldn’t penalize or punish Epic — it would only punish players who used (and trusted) Sign In With Apple (SIWA herewith) to create their accounts. It would punish only Fortnite players, and cause reputational harm among developers as to the dependability of SIWA. (“Piss Apple off and they might spitefully shut off your SIWA users.”)

Worth noting: Apple publicly stated that it was not doing anything to stop SIWA from working for Epic. Epic wound up changing their help document to the following:

Apple previously stated they would terminate “Sign In With Apple” support for Epic Games accounts after September 11, 2020, but today provided an indefinite extension.

I haven’t written about this until now, but I was reminded of it by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers’s disparagement of Epic Games’s honesty during yesterday’s hearing. I spent a few hours back on September 9 digging into this SIWA story, and multiple sources at Apple told me Epic’s claims were simply false. There was never a September 11 deadline for their SIWA support to stop working, and in fact, Apple’s SIWA team performed work to make sure SIWA continued working for Fortnite users despite the fact that Epic Games’s developer account had been revoked. There was no “extension” because Apple was never going to revoke Epic’s SIWA access.

At this point, Epic has passed the “Fool me once, shame on you …” point of the proverb.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020