In what appears like a ceasefire between Apple and Fortnite developer Epic Games, the hit battle royale shooting game will be coming back to iOS devices – but with a condition. This comes as a surprise considering the history between Epic Games and Apple which resulted in Fortnite getting banned from the Apple Store just a few months ago, but it appears Nvidia has discovered a loophole.
When Fortnite was released in 2017, it took the video game industry by storm. It was launched on almost every major platform, including mobile devices via Android and iOS. However, the partnership between Apple and Epic Games was strained from the start, especially about the mobile giant’s 30% fee from in-app purchases.
Epic Games head Tim Sweeney accused Apple of monopolizing the market and was more concerned with its profits rather than every gamer’s security. On the other hand, Apple accused the development team of wanting a “free ride”.
In the first move in what would blow up into a massive legal battle between Apple and the gaming studio, Epic Games revealed Epic Direct, which would offer players the opportunity to purchase Fortnite V-bucks directly in-game, avoiding the Apple Store completely, at a 20% discount.
Apple quickly removed Fortnite from the Apple Store and banned it for at least a year. While Epic Games instantly turned around and filed a lawsuit against the gaming giant, the banning and resulting legal dispute meant players who played Fortnite on iOS were efficiently out of luck.
However, this is where Nvidia comes in. Based on BBC, Nvidia has created a new edition of its GeForce Now cloud gaming service that is compatible with the web browser of iOS, Safari. While Apple doesn’t allow third-party parties to install games or apps on its devices, it has no limitations on its browsers.
GeForce Now, which is the only existing cloud gaming service to host Fortnite, would efficiently allow iOS players to bypass Apple’s ban and run the game on their own mobile phones again, with Apple receiving nothing.
However, iOS users shouldn’t be celebrating just yet since there are still several minor technical problems that, in a game like Fortnite where split-second decisions are critical, can extremely affect its user experience.
Cloud streaming means there will also be possibilities of lag, even with fast internet connections, because graphics and player commands are processed on remote servers. In addition, GeForce’s basic tier service only lets the game be streamed for an hour at a time. This means players will have to subscribe to the paying tier in order to play for longer.
These minor squabbles likely won’t turn off faithful Fortnite fans who are still bewildered from not being able to play the game on iOS devices. Epic Games and GeForce will surely benefit from the 116 million Fortnite players who were thrown away by Apple.