Fortnite vs Apple – The Battle Of The Multi Billionaires
Fortnite is currently streaming a live video on their Twitch, YouTube and Twitter channels, on a continuous loop, and have been since late Thursday evening (BST). The broadcast in question depicts a parody version of Apple’s “1984” commercial.
The ad released by Apple in late 1983, as an almost-threat to then tech giant IBM, while announcing their soon-to-be-released Macintosh computer.
The references to George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel “1984” cannot be ignored, and Apple then sought to be seen as the David of tech, fighting against Goliath.
Now, Epic Games has released a direct parody version of the commercial and continue to stream it on their largest social media platforms, rallying against Apple’s “App Store monopoly”, as they once did against IBM.
So how did this all begin? And, why?
On August 13, the @FortniteGame Twitter account tweeted the first link to the live feed of their “1984” commercial, urging fans to “join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming 1984”.
Epic Games were attempting to defy the App Store monopoly, by “blocking Fortnite from a billion devices” – resulting in huge financial losses for both sides. So why this seemingly brutal response?
Epic Games had recently set up a direct payment system allowing players to buy the in-game currency “V-Bucks” at a discount, eliminating the need to purchase them through Apple, and therefore dissolving the companies 30% cut.
Apple clearly wasn’t happy with that, and immediately pulled the Fortnite app from the App Store.
This is a fight about money, at the end of the day, and not “fighting against corporate entities”, as Epic would have you think. Both are multi-billion (if not trillion) dollar companies, for whom a lawsuit would not exactly break the bank.
In a particularly ballsy move, Epic Games tweeted a link to the PDF of the lawsuit they were putting together against Apple – showing their audience, and Apple’s, that they mean business.
Epic accused Apple of “anti-competitive practices for app distribution and app-related payments”, arguing that Apple isn’t leaving room for “fair competition.”
The idea of fair competition in a Jeff Bezos-dominated world - sounds kooky, right?
Epic Games also stated in the filing that Apple taking a 30% cut is far more than other companies such as Paypal, who usually charge 3%.
Apple wasn’t going to take this lying down, and in their reply stated that:
“Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result, their Fortnite app has been removed from the store. Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services.”
If this lawsuit makes it past this hypocritical Twitter 1984-laden beef, this could be the biggest payout in history.
We can’t wait to see how this plays (or should that be, pays?) out.
Images via Epic Games