Game industry

‘Fortnite’ publishes cringe with anti-Apple tournament, skin and merchandise

The more I see how Epic planned this whole Apple

AAPL
ban and trial like a sort of front circus, the less I’m okay with that. And that now culminates in a spectacle that, to me, just seems like… a little embarrassing.

It would be the #FreeFortnite Cup, an event on August 23 that offers prizes to gamers ranging from big-priced items like PCs or game consoles to Fortnite’s new “Tart Tycoon” skin, a cute shot at Apple and a “Free Fortnite” hat with a play on Apple’s rainbow logo and “Think Different” font (the hat is not sold, it’s just a price).

I… sort of hate it all, and I don’t understand Epic’s playing here.

While I won’t go so far as to say that Epic ‘arms kids’ as it sounds too malicious, I really don’t understand what Epic wants the end result to be here, and with an event like this- This and that wacky anti-Apple campaign, it makes it seem like they don’t take this fight very seriously and aren’t prepared for the long road ahead.

In the real world, the new season of Fortnite ends in a week and iOS players will not be able to play the new season at all because Fortnite has been banned from the App Store for deliberately violating the TOS, and the game will not be able to play the new season at all. can no longer be updated. On top of that, Apple is set to cut all of Epic’s developer and tool accounts at around the same time, which affects not only Fortnite, but potentially any games or apps that use Epic’s Unreal Engine. , which cannot be supported by Epic if Apple’s actions occur. . Epic has already filed its initial lawsuit against Apple over the Fortnite ban, but now they’ve had to go to emergency court to try to stop Apple’s sweeping actions against them, and it’s not yet clear how. It happens.

Meanwhile, this public anti-Apple campaign is doing… what exactly? The idea seems to be that a bunch of kids are trying to log into Fortnite on their iPhones at the start of Season 4 and they can’t get the new Battle Pass, so they’re… complaining to their parents? Their parents… call Apple? Complain online? I really don’t get the call to action here, and all Epic seems to be doing is pointing out the futility of their fight, as correct as they are in pointing out Apple’s monopoly position.

Epic has indicated that the only way for them to get Fortnite back to iOS is if Apple agrees to cut its “greedy” 30% cut in app revenue not just for Fortnite, but for the store as a whole. While, again, yes, that industry standard 30% figure is too high, too oppressive, and bad, what is the realistic likelihood that Apple will bow to “public pressure” on this matter? Zero. It’s zero. And the possibility that a court will decide that they must reduce the number by 30%? Not zero, maybe, but if ever made to happen, this case would likely take months or even years to resolve, and that’s something that doesn’t just include Apple, with that 30% cut being in place in Google’s app stores.

GOOGL
, Steam, Nintendo, Microsoft

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, Sony and more.

In short, Epic wants to change the whole industry. Yes, it is a noble goal and I support it. And yet, with Epic on the verge of starting to lose tens of millions of mobile revenue per month and its developers on the verge of losing iOS support for Unreal, that cute, preconceived anti-Apple tournament and skin rollout and merch seem deaf and unnecessary. It makes it seem like it looks like an attention-seeking vanity project rather than an industry-significant moment. If Epic is fighting for all games and apps, why is this campaign #FreeFortnite? It’s broader than that, and yet Epic doesn’t really explain or spell it out outside of the lawsuit text that no one is going to read.

Even the aesthetics of it bothers me, Epic trying to rally its young player base by using… an Apple ad spoof from 1984 and now a rainbow logo spoof last used in 1999. It’s all so … Lame.

It sucks because I fundamentally believe everything Epic says about Apple and that 30% cut there and elsewhere. It stifles creativity and entrepreneurship, and these companies have too much power over their closed ecosystems.

But I really don’t feel like Epic is prepared for the long haul here, because an event like this involves some kind of a fantastic dream that people will be complaining about on social media until Apple. agrees to give up tens of billions of revenue by voluntarily reducing its cut app store. Or at best it has nothing to do with the public, and the courts force them to do that too, but who knows how many years it would take, if that even happened.

The way Epic handles this is rubbing me the wrong way, although basically I agree with them. And that’s kind of a problem.

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