And so the “epic” saga between Apple and Fortnite continues. Of course, the billion-dollar temper tantrum between Fortnite’s publishers, Epic, and tech giant Apple is well documented. Following a lengthy legal battle, Apple removed Fortnite from all Apple Stores. In its view, this was following a breach of their in-game payment terms. This meant that since 2020, Fortnite players have been unable to do battle “royal” on any Apple device. That changes today.
Today, it seems yet another tech giant has thrown its hat into the ring. Microsoft revealed that they have struck a deal with Epic. This means that as of right now, owners of Android, or iOS devices can play Fortnite on them again. This will be via Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming service, available on both operating systems.
PC gamers will be able to directly stream Fortnite via internet browsers on their devices. Just like watching a film on Netflix. The game is powered by Microsoft’s cloud servers, so there’s no need for fancy hardware to get the games working.
It’s an interesting move from Microsoft, clearly in a bid to attract a larger share of the casual mobile gaming market. But what’s more interesting is that this is a direct show of strength against NVidia’s GeForce Now service, which already allows users to play Fortnite on iOS and Android devices using their service. But by striking a full-blown partnership with Epic, we could see Fortnite limited to working on just Microsoft’s services in the future.
Fortnite reveals the increasing relevance of streaming for free-to-play services
Fortnite will become the first free-to-play title to come to the Xbox Cloud Gaming Services. “It’s an important step to add a Free-to-Play title to the cloud gaming catalog as we continue our cloud journey,” Microsoft said in a blog post.
Since launching in 2020, more than 10 million people around the world have streamed games through Xbox Cloud Gaming. The service is available in 26 markets, including the United States and the United Kingdom.
Of course, Epic lost a trial in the ongoing case on in-app purchases with Apple last year. This means that the game will remain banned from its devices for the time being. But this could see streaming services become more and more relevant as developers increasingly look to circumvent the company’s egregious 30% commission taken on all purchases made via its store.
Whilst Apple retains control over its own ecosystem, it can do little to restrain browser utility, which is ultimately the gateway to streaming “banned” games for many die-hard fans.
Source; Microsoft Blog
“Video games are great. I should know, I’ve played some.”
Olly S, July 2020