Aishwarya Ramesh

Fortnite hits back against Apple, Google ban with remake of '1984' ad

Epic Games recreated Apple's iconic 1984 Superbowl commercial to send gamers a message about their ban from Apple and Google stores"

"If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."
A quote from George Orwell's novel '1984'

Epic Games' popular game Fortnite has captured the internet's imagination with its latest ad. The 50 second ad is titled 'Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite' and is a direct response to Apple's ban of Fortnite from its App store. The ad is set in a dark, grey, grainy atmosphere, don't miss the large dominating half bitten apple addressing a host of Fortnite characters as they sit with their mouths agape.

The apple in Fortnite's ad uses a rather stern and menacing tone in its address to the people - “Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the platform unification directives,” it says. “For years, they have given us their songs, their labor, their dreams. In exchange, we have taken our tribute, our profits, our control. This power is ours and ours alone. We shall prevail.”

The ad directly references the tech giant's logo with a half bitten apple addressing workers on a screen. The ad is a shot by shot recreation of a 1984 Superbowl commercial in which Apple positioned itself as an underdog and as an alternative to IBM computers, which were popular at that time.

In the antitrust complaint that Epic Games filed in the official Court of California, it claims that Apple is imposing unreasonable and unlawful restraints to completely monopolise both markets and prevent software developers from reaching the over one billion users of its mobile devices (e.g., iPhone and iPad) unless they go through a single store controlled by Apple, the App Store, where Apple exacts 30 per cent tax on the sale of every app.

Fortnite's in-app payment system
Fortnite's in-app payment system
Source: Epic Games' Antitrust Lawsuit

Orwell's book was written in the year 1948, so as the year 1984 dawned, Apple saw it fit to release this commercial. In a sea of black and white workers, a woman clad in white and red comes bounding up to the screen. She throws a hammer at the screen, disrupting the image of the face of the person speaking on it.

One of Fortnite's best players had an interesting take on the lawsuit and its timing.

In the same antitrust lawsuit, Epic provides figures about the Epic Games Store, a digital video game storefront through which gamers can download various games, some developed by Epic, and by third-party game developers.

The Epic Games Store is currently available on all personal computers. Epic distributes Fortnite to users of personal computers—including users of Apple’s own Mac computers—through the Epic Games Store. Epic also distributes other developers’ games for a modest fee through the Epic Games Store. Worldwide, approximately 400 million users have signed up to play Epic’s games, and each day 30 to 40 million individuals log into an Epic game.