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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

“Fortnite” maker Epic Games prepared for intense public skepticism in its battle against Apple, internal documents from the Epic-Apple trial reveal.

The big picture: Epic assumed players would be upset if its fight with Apple and Google got the game booted from iPhone and Android (and it did).

  • An internal comms document shows it predicted that the eventual blocking of the games would stoke negative feelings, especially among the 55% of iOS players who never paid for items and wouldn’t see a benefit from Epic’s fight.
  • “Our company is too successful to be sympathetic about,” Epic head of marketing Matt Weissinger wrote in notes taken or updated on May 15, 2020. “It’s a rich company versus a rich company.”

Epic also predicted a negative reaction from the tech press.

  • “When it is large company vs. large company, these writers will defer to Google and Apple and defend them,” Weissinger noted.

Epic’s solution included building a coalition of allied developers, which cost at least $300,000 to set up, according to Weissinger’s court testimony yesterday.

  • It would also start the “FreeFortnite” campaign, making a trailer that mocked a seminal 1984 Apple computer to rally support.

The bottom line: It’s unclear how much any of this worked. The “Fortnite” marketing machinery has rolled on without iOS players being able to use the game.

  • As for the press, most coverage of Epic v. Apple of late has been about the trial — and its 19 Epic lawyers versus Apple’s 42 — not any largely forgotten coalition of developers.

Sign up for the new Axios Gaming newsletter here.

Go deeper

Exclusive: EPA administrator visits Apple HQ to talk climate, environmental justice

EPA administrator Michael Regan (L) on a tour of Apple headquarters led by former EPA head and now Apple executive Lisa Jackson on Aug. 17, 2021. (Apple handout)

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Michael Regan visited the Apple headquarters Tuesday for a conversation with former EPA head Lisa Jackson, who now serves as the tech giant's leader on environment, policy and social initiatives.

The big picture: Apple, considered a leader in procuring renewable energy for its stores, data centers and offices, is in the midst of tackling its toughest environmental challenge yet: greening its vast, global supply chain. The company is aiming to have a carbon neutral supply chain by 2030.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
29 mins ago - Economy & Business

Investors pour millions into immersive, interactive art experiences

Photo Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios. Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

How much would you pay for "a sleek, if pleasantly confusing, package of moods" or "a confusing tangle of disjointed installations" or even "the total erosion of meaning itself"? The answer, according to the current market-clearing price, seems to be about $35.

Why it matters: Investors are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into ticketed experiences — immersive, interactive museum-like spaces that don't have the d0-not-touch stuffiness of traditional museums.

Special Envoy for Haiti resigns over Biden deportations

Daniel Foote testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on May 26, 2016. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Special Envoy for Haiti on Wednesday resigned from his position, writing in his resignation letter obtained by PBS that he "will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees."

Why it matters: Ambassador Daniel Foote's resignation comes amid heightened anger over the treatment of Haitian migrants and asylum-seekers living in a temporary encampment in Del Rio, Texas — especially after images surfaced of Border Patrol agents whipping at the migrants from horseback.