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Epic Games to stage an anti-Apple competition via Fortnite

By | Published on Friday 21 August 2020

Epic Games logo

Epic Games continues to ramp up its beef with Apple by staging a #FreeFortnite Cup this weekend, with 1200 competitors due to win hardware that, unlike iOS devices, will continue to offer the latest ‘Fortnite’ experience.

Epic followed Spotify’s lead last week in taking its dispute over Apple’s App Store rules public. Although Epic is going much, much bigger with its public beefing. While Spotify launched a consumer-facing website to explain its Apple grievances, Epic is rallying the ‘Fortnite’ faithful in the hope that full-on social media outrage – along with some concurrent legal action in the American courts – might force the tech giant to relax its rules.

This all relates to the 15-30% commission that Apple charges on payments made within any apps on iOS devices, and the accompanying rules that ban app makers from offering, or even directing consumers to, alternative payment platforms. Plenty of media and entertainment companies have complained about those rules over the years, with Spotify taking the matter to the European Commission last year, asking the EU’s competition law regulator to intervene.

But, whereas Spotify just stopped taking payments via its iOS app, Epic put an alternative payment option into ‘Fortnite’, fully knowing that doing so would result in the game being kicked out of the App Store. As soon as that happened, litigation was filed and an anti-Apple video appeared online, spoofing a famous ad campaign that the tech giant ran itself all the way back in 1984.

Ramping things up further, Epic Games told ‘Fortnite’ players in a blog post yesterday that: “These are the final days of the entire ‘Fortnite’ community’s ability to play together. Apple has blocked ‘Fortnite’ from the App Store, preventing players from updating to new versions. Players on iOS devices will be left behind on ‘Chapter 2 – Season 3’ while everyone else jumps into the ‘Chapter 2 – Season 4’ launch on 27 Aug.”

The #FreeFortnite Cup, therefore, is a last hurrah. And a call out to all iOS-using ‘Fortnite’ fans to both shout very loudly and possibly consider switching over to a different bit of hardware. “If you’re left behind on iOS after the ‘Chapter 2 – Season 4’ launch”, the blog post added, “the party continues on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, GeForce Now, and [on Android] through both the Epic Games App and the Samsung Galaxy Store”.

Prizes in the #FreeFortnite Cup include gaming or other devices made by Dell, Samsung, OnePlus, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Although the small print on the blog post notes that none of those companies are officially endorsing this anti-Apple scheme, they being happy to benefit from the big bust up, but not wanting to be formally pulled into any public war of words.

Bigging up this weekend’s competition one last time, Epic concluded: “All of your friends. Awesome prizes. And one bad apple. We’re droppin the #FreeFortnite Cup”.