Epic premiered a new short video in Fortnite on Thursday called “Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite.” The short, a parody of an Apple ad from 1984, was played at the big screen on the Party Royale island and later released on YouTube (seen above), but it’s the timing of the short that’s most interesting.
Much like the original Apple ad, the Fortnite short is about a dystopian society that is ruled by a monolithic totalitarian government that controls everything about its population, forcing them into total conformity. This leads to a population that’s stripped of individuality, marching in sync, dressing identically and all staring transfixed at a giant screen where a man with an apple-shaped head reminds them of the importance of their conformity.
“Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the platform unification directives,” the giant talking head says. “For years they have given us their songs, their labor, their dreams. In exchange, we have taken our tribute, our profits, our control. This power is ours and ours alone, we shall prevail.”
Finally, we see a lone character in color, the Bright Bomber — one of Fortnite’s most iconic skins. She runs into the room and hurls a giant hammer at the screen, cracking it and destroying the screen with the giant face.
The short certainly has somethings in common with George Orwell’s dystopian novel of the same name, including the idea of a uniformed and homogenized population controlled by a totalitarian government. But the more striking similarity is to a 1984 television commercial that teased Apple’s first Macintosh computers.
Not coincidentally, Apple and Epic Games, the developer and publisher of Fortnite, have spent the day leading up to the short’s debut in a heated feud, culminating in an official complaint filed in the state of California by Epic Games against Apple.
The feud began, at least in the small scale, when Epic Games…