Epic Games Portrays Apple As the Evil Tyrant In '1984' Parody Ad

Your move, Apple.

Fortnite creator Epic Games has escalated its rift with tech titan Apple by releasing a parody of the latter’s iconic ‘1984’ ad.

In the original version that introduced the original Macintosh, Apple was portrayed as the gritty underdog attempting to overthrow the Goliath of the time -- IBM. 

In place of the menacing Goliath speaking to minions through a black-and-white screen, Epic Game’s version depicts Apple as the Big Brother, while the hero is a Fortnite gamer who hurls a scepter at the screen.

Ad Age reminds us of Steve Jobs’ famous keynote speech when he introduced the ad: “IBM wants it all and is aiming its guns on the last obstacle to industry control: Apple. Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry? The entire information age? Was George Orwell right about 1984?”


Epic Games cites this widely-quoted speech in its anti-trust lawsuit filed against Apple:

“Fast forward to 2020, and Apple has become what it once rallied against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation.”

The Fortnite creator pointed out that Apple is even bigger and more powerful than past monopolists.

“At a market cap of nearly $2 trillion, Apple’s size and reach far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history.” 

Embed from Getty Images

This is the latest chapter in the public squabble between the game publisher and the tech company, which was sparked by  Epic Game’s attempt to circumvent Apple’s 30% App Store levies by adding an in-app payment system for Fortnite players.

Apple then removed Fortnite from tis App Store, explaining 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.”

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All According To Plan

Notably, Epic Game came out with this Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite film in record time, just as it filed a lawsuit against Apple, and less than two days before Apple ousted its best selling game on the site.

The production quality of the short film, though, does not look like it was rushed overnight.

“The most interesting thing here is that this was clearly planned,” said Future video operations head James Jarvis in a tweet. “Epic knew that by adding in the direct payment they would, most likely, be removed from the app store. These things don’t happen in mere hours.

Additionally, the ad doesn’t have that takedown-piece feel to it. It is not meant to besmirch Apple’s reputation, but directly speaks to the conscience of who was once the fledgling underdog.
“The other thing to note is that a large majority of players won't 'get' the reference and they certainly won't go seeking out a 36 year old ad or read the lawsuit to make sense of it. And why should they! So this is targeted right at the people at the top who remember the advert,” Javert explained.

August 15, 2020




Rosabell Toledo


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