Epic Games will debut a short event titled Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite in Fortnite’s Party Royale mode on Thursday at 4 p.m. EDT — a short that appears to be both a response to Apple’s removal of Fortnite from the App Store and a parody of Apple’s iconic 1984 TV commercial that introduced the world to the Macintosh.
It appears Epic had its in-game response to Apple ready to go. The Fortnite maker started promoting Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite on Twitter just minutes after Apple pulled Fortnite from the App Store for “violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments.”
Apple’s “1984” ad was directed by Ridley Scott and presented the computer maker as an upstart smashing the totalitarian control of Big Brother — a stand-in for IBM — from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. Presumably, Epic now sees itself as the little guy (despite a recent valuation of more than $17 billion) challenging Apple’s dominance.
Here’s how Apple co-founder Steve Jobs prefaced a preview of the ad in 1983 at a corporate keynote:
It is now 1984. It appears IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money. Dealers initially welcoming IBM with open arms now fear an IBM-dominated and -controlled future. They are increasingly turning back to Apple as the only force that can ensure their future freedom. IBM wants it all and is aiming its guns on its 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 is now using its public forum, where millions of Fortnite players can hear its side of its battle with Apple, to deliver a message. You can watch it in Fortnite Thursday afternoon.