ALMOST TWO years after being slapped with an extraordinary ban from the App Store, Fortnite has returned to the iPhone.
Players in the UK and US can now play the battle royale shooter for free on mobile via Xbox’s cloud gaming service.
It’s part of a deal between Microsoft, which owns the Xbox, and Fortnite creators Epic Games, announced Thursday.
Following the announcement, Fortnite – played by 350 million people – is now available on Android and Apple devices.
To play in a web browser app like Safari or Google Chrome, go to Xbox.com/play and sign in with a Microsoft account.
This means that for the first time in a while you can play the game smoothly on iOS, iPadOS and on Android phones and tablets.
The game is available in 26 countries and streamed to your device via the Xbox Cloud Gaming service.
Dubbed “Netflix for gaming,” the platform allows you to stream Xbox titles and play them anywhere you have an internet connection.
Fortnite is available in 26 countries through Xbox Cloud Gaming, Microsoft said.
It’s the first free-to-play title added to the service since its launch in 2019.
“Adding a free-to-play title to the cloud gaming catalog as we continue our cloud journey is an important step,” said Catherine Gluckstein of Xbox.
“We’re starting with Fortnite and will look to offer more free-to-play games that people love in the future.”
It’s the latest twist in Epic’s ongoing feud with iPhone maker Apple.
The two companies have been at odds since August 2020, when the game maker tried to circumvent Apple’s 30 percent fee on the App Store by launching its own in-app payment system.
The move led to Apple’s subsequent ban of Fortnite from its store and a legal battle that is expected to last for years.
It means that the game has been almost unplayable on iPhone for almost two years.
In October 2020, a federal judge in California ruled in a request for an injunction that Apple could ban the Fortnite game from its App Store but not harm Epic’s developer tools business.
This includes the “Unreal Engine” software used by hundreds of other video games.
Epic Games founder and chief executive Tim Sweeney previously said Apple’s control of its platform has tipped the balance of opportunity.
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