Look Ma, no app…Epic Games bypasses Apple App Store ban on Fortnite by making it available via Nvidia’s game streaming service
Epic Games hugely popular video game Fortnite looks set to return to the iPhone, after Epic signed a deal with Nvidia and its cloud game streaming service (GeForce Now).
Nvidia confirmed on Thursday that it is “bringing the world of PC gaming to iOS devices through Safari.”
It touted that games such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Destiny 2 Beyond Light, Shadow of the Tomb Raider etc can now be played on underpowered iPhones or iPads.
And soon, so will Fortnite appear on the Nvidia service, completely bypassing Apple’s App Store.
“Alongside the amazing team at Epic Games, we’re working to enable a touch-friendly version of Fortnite, which will delay availability of the game,” confirmed Nvidia. “While the GeForce NOW library is best experienced on mobile with a gamepad, touch is how over 100 million Fortnite gamers have built, battled and danced their way to Victory Royale.”
“We’re looking forward to delivering a cloud-streaming Fortnite mobile experience powered by GeForce NOW,” the firm said. “Members can look for the game on iOS Safari soon.”
The development is notable, as Apple had already thrown the Fortnite app off its App Store.
The clash between Apple and Epic Games began when Epic issued an update for Fortnite that allowed players to purchase in-game currency directly from Epic, bypassing Apple and Google’s payment systems and the 30 percent commission they charge.
Apple and Google then retaliated and removed Fortnite from their respective App Stores, prompting Epic to file a lawsuit against Apple.
In addition to removing Fortnite, Apple also said it would terminate all of Epic Games’ developer accounts and cut it off from its development tools starting 28 August.
That was going to be a problem for Epic, because despite developing its own gaming titles, it also makes tools for other game developers such as the Unreal Engine.
Epic then filed an emergency injunction to stop Apple from revoking iOS and macOS support for its Unreal Engine.
In August a US court granted part of the injunction and stopped Apple from removing its Unreal Engine from the Apple developer program.
However, the Judge also ruled that Apple won’t be required to make Fortnite available on its App Store.
But Epic Games was not happy, and in September it filed a fresh legal challenge in the US District Court of Northern California seeking another preliminary injunction against Apple to get it to restore the game to the App Store.
Apple hit back and launched a counter lawsuit against the creator of Fortnite.
In its lawsuit, Apple accused Epic Games of stealing the 30 percent commissions the iPhone maker takes from app developers.
Apple this week announced plans to reduce the 30 percent commission it charges (the main bone of contention for Epic Games), but only for developers with $1m or less per year (Epic therefore does not qualify).
It remains to be seen how long Apple will wait, before it reacts to the news of Fornite’s return to the iPhone.