In addition to suing Apple, Epic Games has started the #FreeFortnite movement after an in-game event mocked Apple’s iconic 1984 commercial. Epic Games is using this movement to retaliate against Apple after Fortnite was banned from the iOS App Store. Now, thousands of people are tweeting #FreeFortnite to stand against one of the world’s largest megacorporations.
After Epic Games circumvented Apple’s 30% cut of in-app purchases by implementing a new payment method called Epic Direct, Fortnite was removed from Apple’s iOS App Store. Epic Direct was Epic’s attempt to save players money at no additional benefit to Epic Games, but Apple claimed it was a TOS violation to spite Apple’s App Store policies. Epic Games fired back with a federal lawsuit claiming Apple’s actions were unfair and anti-competitive, but the fun didn’t stop there.
Epic Games organized an in-game event in Fortnite to rally the troops against Apple. The event featured a parody of Apple’s legendary 1984 Super Bowl Commercial that debuted on Fortnite‘s big screen. A wall of text rose at the end of the video stating, “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’.” This quip was followed by the hashtag #FreeFortnite which is currently trending on Twitter with over 20K people using the hashtag. The parody commercial is currently on a live loop on Fortnite’s official YouTube channel with 30K people watching and spamming #FreeFortnite in chat.
Essentially, Epic Games knew it would be removed from the App Store because of Epic Direct, and had planned the launch of the event and the reveal of the suit to follow shortly after. A large portion of the gaming community along with multiple app development companies are standing with Epic Games against the behemoth that is Apple. This whole display has been a tactical and cunning feat engineered to put Epic Games in a favorable position. But will this stunt be enough to #FreeFortnite?”