Saturday, 15 August 2020

Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite



In the midst of a global pandemic a new Fortnite season is heralded by a stage-managed spat between Epic Games, Apple and Google, which has divided gamers following the removal of Fortnite from the tech titans' app stores due to the company bypassing storefronts and a 30% charge.

“Apple’s removal of Fortnite is yet another example of Apple flexing its enormous power in order to impose unreasonable restraints and unlawfully maintain its 100% monopoly over the iOS in-app payment processing market,” the company said in a statement.

Epic Games released a parody of Apple's 1984 commercial directed by Ridley Scott (Alien).



Whilst some commentators have suggested it's a David and Goliath battle, Epic Games has profited hugely from the runaway success of Fortnite, a $200 million dollar investment from Sony and licensing its Unreal Engine for use in video games and productions including Disney+ live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian.

“We applaud Epic Games’ decision to take a stand against Apple and shed further light on Apple’s abuse of its dominant position,” a Spotify spokesperson said late on Thursday. “Apple’s unfair practices have disadvantaged competitors and deprived consumers for far too long. The stakes for consumers and app developers large and small couldn’t be higher and ensuring that the iOS platform [Apple’s operating system] operates competitively and fairly is an urgent task with far-reaching implications.”

The coronavirus pandemic has seen Apple's sales increase exponentially with the iPhone SE (I finally moved over to iOS devices full-time when the new model was launched earlier this year) being the biggest beneficiary. xCloud, Microsoft's upcoming streaming service free for Game Pass Ultimate subscribers (myself included), won't be available at launch. Clearly, a battle royale is in the making courtesy of clever marketing with Facebook entering the fray.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to finish streaming season one of Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet, an acerbic video game industry satire, on Apple TV+.

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