Epic Games will hand out anti-Apple prizes in a new Fortnite tournament due to take place Sunday, August 23.
Prizes will include a “Free Fortnite” hat modeled after Apple’s classic “Think Different” branding, the in-game skin for the evil-looking Apple Big Brother character (dubbed the “Tart Tycoon”) from Fortnite‘s “1984” Mac ad parody, and more.
There’s some non-Apple hardware up for grabs as well. This includes an Alienware laptop, Galaxy Tab S7, OnePlus 8 phone, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 Pro, and Nintendo Switch. (Unsurprisingly, no iPhones, iPads or Macs are available as prizes!)
In a press release, Epic notes that “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 August 27.”
That’s because the App Store has banned new versions of Fortnite. Even though people who have previously downloaded the app can keep playing, they can’t update to the latest version. (Pro tip: If you have downloaded Fortnite in the past, but deleted it, you can re-download it if you want to give it another play.)
Fortnite‘s anti-Apple vendetta
The Apple vs. Fortnite standoff kicked off last Thursday when Epic Games launched the Fortnite Mega Drop. This offered players a discount on in-app purchases so long as they were made as direct payments, rather than through the App Store.
“Epic enabled a feature in its app which was not reviewed or approved by Apple, and they did so with the express intent of violating the App Store guidelines regarding in-app payments that apply to every developer who sells digital goods or services,” Apple wrote in a statement given to The Verge.
Apple then removed Fortnite from the App Store. This prompted Epic to respond with a civil lawsuit accusing the App Store of being a monopoly.
Winning people over to its cause
Handing out anti-Apple prizes to Fortnite players doesn’t help build Epic’s case in any legal sense. What it does is to raise awareness of the issue among Fortnite‘s largely younger user base — who wouldn’t ordinarily care about something as prosaic as commission fees for in-app purchases. (And still might not.)
Getting public sentiment on Epic’s side isn’t bad strategy, though. Apple products are extremely popular among young people. If this made any dent on that popularity the negative PR could cost Apple. Epic might be a giant company in itself but, then again, so was Apple when it played the underdog against IBM back in the 1980s!