Epic Games: Why 350 Million Fortnite Players May Soon Boycott Apple


Epic Games: Why 350 Million Fortnite Players May Soon Boycott Apple

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

Since its launch it has seemed like Apple could do no wrong. No matter how high the price of the latest pair of wireless headphones or chargers are, there has been a loyal customer base for every product the company decides to release.

Over the last week, however, there has been a threat to this loyal fanbase, as Apple may soon lose out on the patronage of thousands of Fortnite players, who will be unable to get any further updates of the game on iOS devices.

The dispute started earlier this month after Epic Games, which owns Fortnite, enabled a “direct pay” feature, which allowed them to circumvent the high fees charged by the App Store, but was also in violation of Apple’s policy. In response, the game’s Marvel-themed update, which has had fans waiting in anticipation for months, was blocked by Apple.

The dispute didn’t end there. After it was taken off the App Store, Epic Games went on to release an advertisement, parodying Apple’s iconic “Think Different” ad, and making an obvious reference to 1984, George Orwell’s dystopian novel.

In the description of its YouTube video, the company said it would defy Apple’s App Store “monopoly”. The video itself, meanwhile, ends with a call to action, asking players to use the hashtag “FreeFortnite” to protest Apple’s policy, leading to several calls for boycott.

Earlier this week, Epic Games also put out a blog inviting Fortnite players to compete in a tournament where they could win “anti-Apple” prizes, including a skin of an “evil-looking” apple for the game, and a number of non-iOS devices, such as Galaxy Tab, a OnePlus phone, and a PlayStation. In the blog, it was also suggested that iOS players consider moving to other platforms before Fortnite’s next season begins.

With Epic Games keeping its campaign against Apple going, Fortnite’s most ardent fans seem to be the ones caught in the crossfire. But unless one of the companies backs off on their demands, it seems as though, for now, iOS users will no longer be allowed to enjoy one of the most popular games in the world along with everyone else.