Last week’s biggest tech story was Apple and Google kicking Fortnite off of the App Store and Play Store on phones. But since Epic immediately launched a prepared social media campaign, complete with a parody of Apple’s iconic 1984 ad, it’s pretty clear that’s what the publisher wanted anyway. If you were in any doubt, today’s news will remove it.
Starting Sunday August 23rd, Fortnite’s new “#FreeFortnite Cup” (the hashtag is part of the name, naturally) will offer players skins and other prizes themed after Epic’s extremely public spat-slash-series of lawsuits with Apple. And Google, I guess, but Epic doesn’t seem nearly as interested in publicizing that aspect of the situation, since you can still install Fortnite outside of Android’s Google Play Store.
All players will get the skin “Tart Tycoon,” the Apple-baiting character featured in Epic’s YouTube parody, and the top 20,000 scorers separated by region will get a “Free Fortnite” hat. As in a real hat, you can wear, shipped to your home. Naturally the hat takes a dig at Apple, too, riffing on its older slogan and logo.
On top of all of that, the very best players can win real hardware. “Just because you can’t play on iOS doesn’t mean there aren’t other awesome places to play Fortnite,” Epic says, announcing a giveaway of 1,200 individual pieces of tech hardware. These include the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X, PS4 Pro, OnePlus 8 smartphone, Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 tablet, or an Alienware laptop.
Depending on the region, you’ll have to land somewhere between the top 30 or top 240 players in the competition in order to qualify to win a console, phone, tablet, or laptop.
Despite Epic’s hyperbolic language, it’s still very possible to play Fortnite on Android, and even on the iPhone or iPad (at least for the moment) if you downloaded it before the TOS violation. And it seems especially weird that Epic is promoting Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft consoles as alternatives to Apple, since those companies take the same 30% cut of revenue that Epic is complaining about.
But then, asking for consistency in this combined lawsuit-slash-PR campaign aimed at children might be expecting too much.