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.
can't believe 1984 was about fortnite the whole time, george orwell really was a visionaryAugust 14, 2020
Kids are gonna go to school and learn about 1984 as "the thing from Fortnite"August 14, 2020
just found out that they made a book based on that 1984 Fortnite thing?August 13, 2020
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.