Titled Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite, the video comes amid a landmark legal dispute after Apple banned the hit battle royale game from its App Store when Fortnite developer Epic Games introduced a direct payment system.
Shortly after the ban, Epic Games released the short film, and filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against Apple.
The company then launched a “#FreeFortnite” campaign on its website, outlining its position.
In Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite, an apple-faced man is seen talking to an audience in black and white.
“Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the platform unification directives,” he says. “For years, they have given us their songs, their labour, their dreams. In exchange, we have taken our tribute, our profits, our control. This power is ours and ours alone. We shall prevail.”
At this point, a woman hurls a Fortnite pickaxe at the screen, parodying the climax of the famous tech company ad.
A message is then displayed on the screen, reading: “Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices. Join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming 1984.”
While some people praised the ad as an effective statement that “resonates with a Fortnite audience”, others were unimpressed and even baffled by the likening of Apple to the oppressive state in George Orwell’s iconic dystopian novel.
“1984 is about mass murder, the fear of the state and future, hate and the constant fear of the government and not about f***ing Fortnite“ wrote one commenter on Twitter.
can’t believe 1984 was about fortnite the whole time, george orwell really was a visionary— Bolt (@Diamondbolt7)August 14, 2020
just found out that they made a book based on that 1984 Fortnite thing?— Alex 🦉| Haruspis (@haruspis)August 13, 2020
“Kids are gonna go to school and learn about 1984 as ‘the thing from Fortnite,’” joked another.
One person quipped: “Can’t believe 1984 was about Fortnite the whole time, George Orwell really was a visionary.”
Kids are gonna go to school and learn about 1984 as “the thing from Fortnite”— Christina 2 Electric Boobaloo (@ChristinaTasty)August 14, 2020
Epic Games has defied the App Store Monopoly. In retaliation, Apple is blocking Fortnite from a billion devices.
Visit https://t.co/K3S07w5uEk and join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming “1984” https://t.co/tpsiCW4gqK— Fortnite (@FortniteGame)August 13, 2020
One Twitter user wrote: “I don’t care about Fortnite but a giant company referencing 1984 is corny as f***.”
Others remarked how the references to Apple’s original advertisement would be lost on the bulk of Fortnite‘s players, many of whom were not yet born when the famous commercial debuted.