Gamers on Apple devices could soon be able to play Fortnite again via the Nvidia cloud gaming service GeForce Now.
The GeForce Now cloud gaming service has been developed by Nvidia to run on mobile web browser Safari in Apple devices, which could allow them to play the popular battle royale fighting game Fortnite.
Apple’s total ban on Fortnite
In August, Tech giant Apple decided to ban Epic Games’ Fortnite following a game update that allowed players to purchase in-game currency at a lower rate if they bought directly from Epic, effectively bypassing Apple.
Using the App Store, Apple takes a standard 30% cut of sales from its compulsory payment system. Apple said Epic had taken the “unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines”.
Users of iOS devices can only legitimately load apps thru the App Store. Under its guidelines, any payment system apart from Apple’s own is strictly prohibited. This has been the cause of several high-profile conflicts between developers and Apple.
In response to the ban, Epic immediately filed a legal complaint in a California court. The game developer alleged Apple of effectively running a monopoly in both deciding what apps can appear on iPhones and demanding that its own payment system, with the relatively high 30% cut, be used.
Epic followed it up with another injunction after Apple threatened to remove the video game creator from its developer program on August 28. Epic claimed it will be “irreparably harmed” by being completely removed from Apple’s developer program.
Its removal from the developer program meant that its Unreal Engine, a popular graphics tool widely used by third-party developers of other games, films and virtual reality, will also be included in the ban, forcing the other developers to find an alternative tool.
Federal Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers ruled that Epic had not proven that Apple’s decision so far had caused the “irreparable harm” it claimed in its legal papers. However, she also wrote in her ruling that Apple had “chosen to act severely” by threatening to block the Unreal Engine, which is widely used by others.
In her order, Gonzalez Rogers wrote that while Apple may continue its ban on the game, it must not punish Unreal Engine or Epic’s affiliates. She argued that other users’ reliance on Epic’s Unreal Engine meant that removing it entirely would “unnecessarily impact” them.
GeForce Now and Fortnite
Unlike Android devices, Apple prohibits games or other apps to be installed on to its phones or tablets via app stores other than its own. However, it does not have restrictions on which third-party services can be run within Safari or other web browsers available on its store.
Currently, Nvidia’s GeForce now cloud service is available on Mac, Windows, Android and Chromebook computers. While there has been no formal announcements yet on its launch of the service on the iOS, Nvidia is expected to do so prior to the winter holidays.
However, there is still a possibility that the company may exclude Fortnite from its lineup of games available for Apple devices.
An Nvidia spokesperson said: “Nvidia is not commenting on any new clients coming to the service, or on the availability of any game on unannounced or unreleased platforms. Fortnite is not confirmed for GeForce Now on platforms beyond PC, Mac and Android.”