SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Fortnite maker Epic Games has used a famous Apple advertisement against the iPhone maker in a social media campaign accompanying a legal battle it launched on Thursday.
A scene from the “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite” short released by popular video game “Fortnite” maker Epic Games is seen, after Apple Inc removed the game from its App Store for violating the company’s in-app payment guidelines. Epic Games/Handout via REUTERS
Epic’s “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite”, shows here a colorful female Fortnite fighter running through a black-and-white corridor and hurling a unicorn-shaped club against a screen showing an Apple-headed character talking about its control of the system.
The Apple character features a worm sticking out of a bite mark that resembles Apple’s corporate logo and frameless spectacles similar to those worn by Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook in his official photograph on the iPhone maker’s website.
Apple Inc earlier in the day removed “Fortnite” from its App Store for violating the company’s in-app payment guidelines, prompting developer Epic to file a lawsuit seeking to end Apple’s in-app payment practices.
The Fortnite video, watched nearly half a million times on YouTube within hours of its launch, is a parody of Apple’s own “1984” commercial here, which launched the Macintosh computer, styled as a threat to the personal computer of the day.
Apple’s hero made a similar run, to throw a sledge hammer in protest against a totalitarian leader. The commercial, considered a classic, promised viewers “1984 won’t be like ‘1984’”, the dystopian novel by George Orwell.
At the time, Apple was a tiny challenger in the computer market, but on Thursday Epic’s video described the game maker as “defying the App Store Monopoly”.
The video enthused thousands of commenters on YouTube.
“The war is on,” wrote one.
Reporting by Stephen Nellis and Peter Henderson; Editing by Daniel Wallis