Ridley Scott, director of the original “1984” Apple Macintosh commercial, has spoken about Epic Games’ recent parody of his ad, in an interview with IGN. Due to the recent rift over the App Store 30% commission rate, Epic has been taking gibs at Apple on social media and in emails to Fortnite iOS players.
Epic’s breached App Store rules on August 13, when it added a direct payment option on the Fortnite app to cut off Apple completely from in-app purchases’ revenue share by allowing users to send payments directly to Epic Games. Not long after the release of this controversial update, Apple removed the Fortnite app from the App Store and has terminated Epic’s developer account.
Ridley Scott’s response to the Fornite parody ad
Scott confirmed to IGN that he has seen Epic’s parody and stated that while he feels that the Fortnite ad was well delivered, the company could have tried harder to push a stronger message.
“…On the one hand I can be fully complimented by the fact they copied [my commercial] shot for shot,” Scott said. “But pity the message is so ordinary when they could have been talking about democracy or more powerful things… And they didn’t use it.” he went on to say, “I think the animation was terrific, the idea was terrific, the message was ‘ehh’,”
The legal battle between the two companies is currently ongoing, though Epic recently won a temporary injunction to prevent Apple from blocking Epic’s ability to support Unreal Engine on iOS and Mac. This did not extend to Fortnite, which is still unavailable on the App Store. Moreover, Epic has now had its Fortnite developer account terminated.
Epic Games’ #FreeFornite Campaign
When the gaming giant launched its campaign against Apple over anti-competitive App Store policies, it premiered a shot-for-shot remake of Apple’s famous “1984” Super Bowl commercial directed by Ridley Scott, titled Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite. The original advertisement was based on the novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell and was meant to show Apple as a nonconformist company against an oppressive administration assumed to be IBM.
Apple’s ad depicted IBM as the immoral “Big Brother,” and Epic’s satire tried to show that Apple is now the tyrannical power it fought against not too long ago. In a blog post, Epic Games encourages Fortnite players to protest against Apple’s App Store commission rate by using the hashtag #FreeFortnite on social media platforms.
“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’, text at the end of the Fornite ad reads.