It’s been pretty impossible to be anywhere near the internet over the last 24 hours without having come across the mess that is Fortnite on iPhone and iPad. We told you yesterday that Epic Games had added a new payment option to the game, allowing people to bypass the App Store.

Predictably, Apple pulled the game from the App Store. And then Epic Games went on the offensive.

Shortly after the game was removed from the App Store, Fortnite started teasing a new live event, titled “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite”. The result is the YouTube video below. And yes, that’s a bunch of Fortnite characters re-enacting the famous Apple “1984” ad from back in the day.

The Apple ad was famous because it ushered in the Macintosh, with Apple poking fun at the massive IBM. Now, Apple is the one being poked with Fortnite and Epic Games pointing out that Apple has become the thing it used to rail against.

That’s a point that Epic Games also made in a new lawsuit against Apple. The lawsuit sets the stage, referencing Apple’s ad.

In 1984, the fledgling Apple computer company released the Macintosh—the first mass-market, consumer-friendly home computer. The product launch was announced with a breathtaking advertisement evoking George Orwell’s 1984 that cast Apple as a beneficial, revolutionary force breaking IBM’s monopoly over the computing technology market. Apple’s founder Steve Jobs introduced the first showing of the 1984 advertisement by explaining, “it appears IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money . . . . Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry? The entire information age? Was George Orwell right about 1984?”

And then, the kicker.

Fast forward to 2020, and Apple has become what it once railed against: the behemoth seeking to control markets, block competition, and stifle innovation. Apple is bigger, more powerful, more entrenched, and more pernicious than the monopolists of yesteryear. At a market cap of nearly $2 trillion, Apple’s size and reach far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history.

Epic Games then goes on to say that Apple’s practices are anti-competitive, something that it has been accused of in the past. What happens next isn’t clear, but it’s thought that Epic Games isn’t likely to win out here. Instead, it’s simply shining a big, bright spotlight on Apple in the hope that something gives. Whether that’s Apple doing it voluntarily, or the US government stepping in to force it to open the doors to iOS and iPadOS to allow third-party App Stores.

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