The Fortnite fight between Apple and Epic Games just got messy

Our faces as we watch this soap opera unfold (Image credit: Epic Games)

So, it seems we have a brand new celebrity feud on our hands – except this time, instead of famous individuals, it's two of the biggest tech companies in the world baying for each other's blood. After Apple yanked video game juggernaut Fortnite from its App Store for violating its rules yesterday, developer Epic Games has responded with a savage new video poking fun at one of Apple's most famous ads.

To recap (like any online spat, this is hard to keep up with), Epic Games recently began allowing players to purchase Fortnite's in-game currency, V Bucks, directly from the company itself. Apple requires these purchases to take place in-app so that it can take a cut – hence the game's swift removal from the App Store (and thus from some of the best camera phones). Cue the release of Epic Games' satire of Apple's iconic '1984' ad (below). 

Brilliantly titled 'Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite' (we can't help but think Epic Games was keeping that one in its back pocket for a while), the ad follows the same strains of Apple's 1984 original, used to unveil the Apple Macintosh. An apple-faced man on a large screen demands obedience from a black and white crowd, until a Fortnite character (in full technicolour) smashes the screen. The ad ends with the text: "Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices. Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming '1984.'"

On a technical level, the ad is a brilliant, Fortnite-themed facsimile of the original (below), and it's fun to see Apple being so accurately parodied – even if the company doing the parodying is just another tech monolith. Not every company is in a position to take on Apple with such gusto, although some (such as the meal-planning business Apple is targeting for its 'similar' logo) would probably like to. 

But while the ad is an effective parody, it seems many on Twitter (below) are a little confused by the likening of Apple to an oppressive state. Others, meanwhile, have mused over whether young Fortnite players will even understand the reference to the original ad, and to George Orwell's 1984 itself.

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One thing's for sure – George Orwell would be delighted to know that the themes and iconography of his seminal novel have been reappropriated for a feud between two huge tech companies. Okay, maybe not. Still, we do enjoy a bit of brand beef, such as the recent spat between Evian and Coors Light over a very familiar rebrand. Here are 5 times brands had a dig at competitors – and won

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.