The next Fortnite tournament will be more than just fun and games: Epic Games also wants to troll Apple during the event by offering prizes intended to mock the iPhone maker.
Epic Games has scheduled a “#FreeFortnite” cup for Sunday to rally gamers around Epic in its antitrust feud against Apple. Participants will have the chance to win two anti-Apple prizes.
One includes the “Tart Tycoon Outfit,” pictured above, which is a player skin designed to depict Apple as a sour and soulless company. The other is a baseball cap labeled with the slogan “Free Fortnite,” a reference to how Apple has pulled the game from the iOS App Store. Epic Games plans on shipping 20,000 hats to top scoring players across the globe.
(Credit: Epic Games)
“All of your friends. Awesome prizes. And one bad apple. We’re droppin the #FreeFortnite Cup,” the company wrote in the announcement.
However, the tournament also marks the last time (at least for now) Fortnite players on iOS will be able to enjoy the latest version of the game with competitors on other platforms. That’s because Apple’s decision to pull Fortnite from the App Store means Epic Games can no longer deliver major updates to the multiplayer title for existing iOS players.
As a result, the newest “Chapter 2 -Season 4” of Fortnite won’t be available to iPhone and iPad users. To receive it, they’ll have to play the game on another platform, such as Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Windows PC or an Android device, which can still receive updates from Fortnite’s developer.
Still, Epic Games is hoping a US district court will force Apple to temporarily reinstate the game on the iOS App Store until the antitrust lawsuit between the two companies can be resolved. A judge is scheduled to hold a hearing on the reinstatement on Monday.
In the meantime, Epic Games plans on offering hardware to winning players in the #FreeFortnite tournament, such as Alienware gaming laptops, Nintendo Switches, and OnePlus 8 phones, to help them play the game outside the iOS ecosystem. “Just because you can’t play on iOS doesn’t mean there aren’t other awesome places to play Fortnite,” the company said.
The feud started last week when Fortnite’s developer decided to defy iOS App Store rules and add a direct payment option inside the game. Epic Games did so to protest Apple’s long-standing requirement that all iOS developers fork over a 30 percent cut of in-app purchases to the company.
Citing the violation, Apple decided to pull the game from the App Store. However, Epic Games was prepared to escalate the feud with a lawsuit that claims Apple runs a monopoly through its strict control over the iOS ecosystem. The gaming company is now demanding the courts force Apple to stop its practices once and for all.
Apple is defending its current business model, pointing to how the iOS App Store has helped numerous companies, including Epic Games, rake in revenue. “Epic has been one of the most successful developers on the App Store, growing into a multibillion dollar business that reaches millions of iOS customers around the world. We very much want to keep the company as part of the Apple Developer Program and their apps on the Store,” Apple said earlier this week.
If Epic Games fails to comply, Apple plans on revoking the company’s access to its development platforms, meaning all Epic Games’ properties, including the Unreal Engine, can no longer be widely published over iOS or Mac products.