Fortnite playable on iOS once more thanks to Xbox Cloud Gaming

For the first time since August 2020, Fortnite can be enjoyed on iOS devices.

Xbox announced today that Fortnite will now be available to stream via Xbox Cloud Gaming on mobile devices and PC, including iOS and iPadOS. Additionally, it’ll be available entirely for free, no Xbox Game Pass subscription required for players. Which means that all you need are a solid wifi connection, and your preferred flavor of device. 

This is made more significant due to the fact that this will be the first time in almost two years that Fortnite has been playable on iOS devices in any way. 

Back in August 2020, Epic launched alegal assault on Apple and Google, following the removal of Fortnite from the App Store.

The basis for the suit was Epic’s use of its own payment system within Fortnite, bypassing the usual cut taken by Apple. In response, Apple removed the game from the App Store, prompting Epic to retaliate. The company’s primary argument was that Apple held a monopoly on the mobile games sector, allowing it to charge unfair prices to host games on the App Store. 

Both companies would fire back and forth at each other, with Apple first attempting to remove Unreal Engine from the App Store, a move that would have a notable impact for many developers had the courts not blocked its removal. 

Fortnite, however, remained off the App Store, and thus remained unplayable on iOS devices entirely. It even prompted a resale market on eBay, with iPhones equipped with the battle royale selling for more than $1,300. 

The case ended with what could be described as a shallow victory for Epic, with the court ruling to allow the use of third-party payment options for titles on the App Store. 

This was the only part of Epic’s entire assault that was successful, as the court ruled the developer was in breach of Apple’s terms of service, and gave no conclusion in either direction as to whether or not Apple had monopolized the mobile sector. 

The news that Fortnite is once again playable on iOS speaks to the growth of cloud gaming. In a separate blog post, and according to the Game Pass platform, Xbox said “more than 10 million people around the world have streamed games through Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta)” since 2020 through its Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions. 

It is impressive to see that growth for the service in a short time, and it clearly speaks to the attraction of cloud gaming, and how much more accessible it can be for those wanting to play games on the go. 

The effects of that convenience are already being felt as well, as Xbox is already noticing that the average cloud player is discovering and playing “nearly twice as many games” as players who don’t use the service. 

Recently, more regions have also been introduced to cloud gaming, including Mexico, Japan, Australia, and Brazil. 

It will be interesting to see what the addition of Fortnite to the roster of games available through cloud gaming does for Microsoft as it continues to lead the way in cloud gaming.

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News Writer

David Carcasole is a freelance games journalist whose work has appeared in GamesIndustry.Biz, [lock-on], Into the Spine, and others. Find him on Twitter @SlyBowser, where he’s likely pining for the days when PS Vita games were still in development.