ALMOST TWO years after it was slapped with an extraordinary ban from the App Store, Fortnite has returned to the iPhone.
Gamers in the U.K. and U.S. can now play the battle royale shooter for free on mobile through Xbox’s cloud gaming service.
It’s part of a deal between Microsoft, which owns Xbox, and Fortnite-creator Epic Games announced Thursday.
Following the announcement, Fortnite – which is played by 350mn people – is now available on Android and Apple devices.
To play, go to Xbox.com/play on a web browser app such as Safari or Google Chrome and sign in with a Microsoft Account.
It means, for the first time in a while, you can easily play the game on iOS, iPadOS, and on Android phones and tablets.
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The game is available in 26 countries and is streamed to your device via the Xbox Cloud Gaming service.
The platform, described as “Netflix for games”, lets you stream Xbox titles and play them anywhere you have an internet connection.
Fortnite is available over Xbox Cloud Gaming in 26 countries, Microsoft said.
It’s the first free-to-play title added to the service since its launch in 2019.
“It’s an important step to add a Free-to-Play title to the cloud gaming catalog as we continue our cloud journey,” Xbox’s Catherine Gluckstein said.
“We’re starting with Fortnite and will look to bring more Free-to-Play games 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 loggerheads since August 2020, when the game maker tried to avoid Apple’s 30 per cent 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 rumble on for years.
It’s meant that the game has been almost unplayable on iPhone for almost two years.
In October 2020, a federal judge in California ruled in an injunction request that Apple could bar the Fortnite game from its App Store but must not harm Epic’s developer tools business.
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That includes the “Unreal Engine” software used by hundreds of other video games.
Epic Games founder and Chief Executive Tim Sweeney had previously said Apple’s control of its platform had tilted the level playing field.
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