'Fortnite' studio Epic Games announces more live concerts for players amid dispute with Apple, Google

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FOX Business’ Lauren Simonetti reports on the latest news in the Apple vs. ‘Fortnite’ creator Epic Games dispute, which continues to escalate.

“Fortnite” is following up its massively successful in-game Travis Scott performance with a live concert series kicking off on Sept. 12.

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The popular video game by Epic Games announced Tuesday that it plans to put on a series of in-game concerts starting with singer, rapper and songwriter Dominic Fikes, who will perform songs from his debut LP titled “What Could Possibly Go Wrong.”

The company announced that Fike will perform on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. EST with encore performances taking place at 11 p.m. EST and again the following day at 1 p.m. EST. Epic Games notes this is the first of at least three concerts that will make up its Spotlight series. It has yet to announced the two other performers that will headline shows on Sept. 19 and Sept. 26.

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“Given the state of the world, artists are having trouble connecting with fans,” Nate Nanzer, Epic Games head of global partnerships, told Variety. “We’re creating this platform to work with artists — big artists and up-and-coming artists.”

Epic Games announced more ‘Fortnite’ concerts. (Epic Games)

The “Fortnite” Spotlight concerts will be produced from a studio in Glendale, Calif.

“This is not a bedroom show,” Nanzer added. “It’s not a DJ from their living room.”

The announcement of a concert series comes after Scott performed as a giant, in-game avatar attracting 12.3 million concurrent viewers who gathered as their in-game avatars to view the event with friends and fellow players, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Steve Aoki, deadmau5 and Dillon Francis are among the artists who put on subsequent performances.

Surprisingly, despite the big numbers such an event is expected to attract, Epic Games doesn’t plan to charge “Fortnite” players extra to view the concert and has no plans to sell ads or sponsorships.

“This is about bringing joy to our players,” Nanzer added. “We want everyone to be able to watch it. There’s no paywall at all.”

The generosity from Epic Games comes amid an ongoing dispute after Apple and Google pulled the free-to-play game from the App Store and Google Play after the company attempted to subvert the tech giant’s payment system and allow players to pay Epic directly for in-game content.

“Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users. As a result, their Fortnite app has been removed from the store," an Apple spokesperson told FOX Business at the time.

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Google followed suit, stating that it too "can no longer make ['Fortnite'] available on Play because it violates our policies. However, we welcome the opportunity to continue our discussions with Epic and bring Fortnite back to Google Play."

Epic pushed back on any such notions, stating the decision was made by it alone.

Epic Games is adding more in-game concerts after the success of Travis Scott’s in April. (Epic Games)

"Epic is a private, American company and Tim Sweeney is the controlling shareholder of Epic Games," a spokesperson told FOX Business. "He oversees all business operations and has majority control of Epic’s board of directors. Simply put, Tim Sweeney is the ultimate decision-maker for Epic, and the company does not take action unless Tim agrees with it."

The "Fortnite" fight now moves to the courts. Epic has filed a legal complaint against Apple seeking to end its "anti-competitive restrictions on mobile device marketplaces."

In addition to legal action, the company has launched a #FreeFortnite campaign on social media and unveiled a new short film within the game called "Nineteen Eighty-Fortnite," which compares Apple to the oppressive regime from the classic dystopian novel "1984" by George Orwell, and mimics Apple's original commercial for the Macintosh computer.

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Fox Business' Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.

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