In 1984, a start-up computer company named – may have heard of them – Apple launched a movement by catapulting the Macintosh computer into our unsuspecting IBM-led lives. The introductory spot, helmed by Ridley Scott, was just as compelling with its dark Orwellian tone, casting Apple as a group of rebels shattering the world of Big Brothers.
“1984” of course is now considered one of the all-time revered spots of advertising. Now, it would seem Epic Games has flipped the script on the company Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built.
Apple is now Big Brother.
Cary, North Carolina-based Epic Games just declared war on Apple by trolling the company’s most iconic ad. Why you ask?
Apple removed Epic Games’ super popular Fortnite from the App Store due to the developer implementing its own in-app payment system that bypassed Apple’s standard 30 percent fee. Also of note, Google has cited rule-breaking by Epic for the same reason and has removed Fortnite from its digital marketplace.
Soooooo, Epic Games struck back with an antitrust lawsuit and a commercial that trolls Apple’s “1984.”
“Apple has blocked Fortnite from the App Store, removing everyone’s ability to install and update the game on iOS devices, while instructing Epic to “remove the ‘Epic direct payment’ feature’,” says a statement on the Epic website. “Apple is keeping prices high so they can collect 30% of your payments, and is blocking Fortnite in order to prevent Epic from passing on the savings from direct payments to you! Join the fight against @AppStore on social media with #FreeFortnite.”
Called “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite,” a unicorn-pickaxe-wielding heroine races through a hall full of drone-like viewers, unable to tear their eyes away from an apple-headed dictator on-screen who resembles Apple CEO Tim Cook.
“Today we celebrate the anniversary of the platform-unification directives,” the dictator 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 video, which has over two million views, ends with a suggested hashtag, #FreeFortnite, which became the top trending item worldwide on Twitter within an hour of it being posted.
This would not be Epic’s first foray into the boxing ring with a tech giant. According to CNET, In 2018, Epic launched Fortnite for Android by asking people to download the game directly from its site, rather than through Google’s Play Store.
But the new video does successfully parody Apple’s classic ad and really jabs the Apple Store’s policies. Therefore it is “Epic” and our “Reel Ad of the Week.”
See the entire Epic Games complaint against Apple here.