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In a nutshell: Epic Games’ war with Apple has been one of the most public, and at times vicious, spats the tech industry has ever witnessed, with both sides taking constant digs at each other. Epic even threw shade at Apple by recreating its famous 1984 commercial and casting Cupertino as the Big Brother character. Now, the person behind that original ad, Alien director Ridley Scott, has given his opinion on Epic's remake.
As a recap, the saga began with the addition of a payment option in the iOS and Android versions of Fortnite that paid Epic directly, skipping Apple/Google’s 30% cut and giving players a discount on goods. The game was promptly kicked from both companies’ stores, leading to Epic launching antitrust lawsuits against the tech giants.
In the first of several jabs against Apple, Epic did a shot-for-shot animated remake of the company’s 1984 Apple Macintosh commercial inside Fortnite. But instead of the original Big Brother antagonist, it featured an Apple-headed bad guy, placing the iPhone-maker in the role of IBM, which dominated the personal computer market in the early eighties.
That original ad was directed by Hollywood legend Ridley Scott, the man behind the camera for Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, and many more. In an interview with IGN, he was asked if he’d seen Epic’s take.
“I sure have and I wrote to them because on the one hand I can be fully complimented by the fact they copied [my commercial] shot for shot,” Scott said. “But pity the message is so ordinary when they could have been talking about democracy or more powerful things… And they didn’t use it.”
So, it seems the director/producer has mixed feelings about it. “I think the animation was terrific, the idea was terrific, the message was ‘ehh’.”
Since the lawsuit, Epic has run a Fortnite Cup that offered a slew of non-Apple prizes. Apple, meanwhile, promised to "terminate" all of Epic's developer accounts and cut the company off from iOS and Mac developer tools, leading to another lawsuit, but a judge blocked the move with a temporary restraining order. Apple’s response? To make Fortnite-rival PUBG its game of the day.