After a totally unnecessary, if undoubtedly visually appealing, ray tracing addition to Fortnite earlier this week, the massively successful battle royale game is getting another strange, left-field option: the ability to bypass Epic Games' ongoing spat with Apple via Nvidia's GeForce Now cloud streaming service.
One of the only options left — To understand why cloud gaming is now virtually the only way to play Fortnite on an Apple device, we have to, unfortunately, go all the way back to the very dumb beginning. You see, Apple has long been widely criticized for taking a 30 percent cut of all profits from its App Store downloads, which many developers took umbrage with, but were in no position to challenge.
Epic Games, maker of 2019's most profitable game and development platform Unreal Engine, complained it wasn't allowed to make as much money as it wanted because of this, leading to Apple eventually pulling Fortnite from the App Store and launching a legal battle that will likely last years. Meanwhile, roughly 73 million Fortnite players relying on the iOS version are out of luck. Or, at least, they were until this week.
Take it to the cloud — Which brings us to now, and the news that Nvidia's cloud game streaming service could provide a (potentially lag-heavy) loophole for fans. While the offering hasn't been officially announced yet, promo images and a teaser trailer on the GeForce Now website indicate Fortnite's imminent arrival.
So, unless Epic Games and Apple come to an agreement (spoiler: they won't), this seems like the only real way to play Fortnite on iOS for the conceivable future. Unless you wanna shell out ridiculous amounts of money for hacked Apple smartphones, but please, don't do that.
Currently, GeForce Now offers two membership plans: a Standard option that's free, albeit limited to one-hour gaming sessions, and a Founders level for $4.99 per month. In addition to iOS, the service is also available on Windows, Chromebook, and Android devices. It's an inelegant fix, but it'll have to do for now.