“Fortnite” is one of the most popular games ever made and it’s still not available on to download on Apple’s App Store or the Google Play store. Both Epic and Apple appealed the ruling last year and Epic has a separate case against Google for its Google Play store. Apple has said it won’t allow “Fortnite” back into its store until the verdict in the case is final. Now using Microsoft’s cloud service, all you need to play “Fortnite” is an account with Microsoft and a device that can browse the internet. There are no membership fees or apps to install. Epic Games declined to answer questions regarding the partnership. A spokesperson for Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment. On Twitter, Tim Sweeney, the chief executive of Epic Games, called the partnership “monumental news,” specifically referencing that the streaming set-up will work around Apple’s payment system.
It is now possible to play “Fortnite” on your iPhone (or any iOS device for that matter). Microsoft said on Thursday that the popular battle royale is now free to play on mobile browsers via Xbox’s cloud gaming service, which lets gamers to stream games directly to their devices. Microsoft’s collaboration with “Fortnite” creator Epic Games bypasses Apple’s App Store, which withdrew “Fortnite” in 2020 after Epic enabled users to pay them directly, avoiding Apple’s 30% fee on all in-app sales. Epic ended up suing Apple over the tech giant’s business strategy, and the case marked a watershed moment in how users pay for services on their A federal judge decided last year that Apple must enable app developers to “steer” consumers to alternate payment methods.
It’s not clear whether Microsoft will charge a commission for any of the in-game purchases through their cloud service. Florian Ederer, an associate professor of economics at Yale School of Management, wrote in an email that the partnership is “a big opportunity” for Microsoft to build on its existing catalog of games available to stream. That said, Ederer said a player’s gameplay experience may never be as good as on an app. “Given the Internet connection of most players, the arrangement is still suboptimal,” Ederer wrote. “This may be less of a threat for Apple as gamers might be unwilling to accept the higher latency and worse graphics of cloud-based gaming.”