Apple doesn’t allow any developer to make iOS game streaming apps, unless they make it available through a mobile web browser. So Nvidia created a version of GeForce Now that streams on iPhones through the Safari browser app, and this may be the loophole that Fortnite fans have been waiting for.
Fortnite developer Epic Games is currently embroiled in a months-long legal battle with Apple, arguing that it has the right to sell in-game currency (V-Bucks) on Fortnite for iOS without Apple taking a cut. Apple responded by removing Fortnite from the app store, so iPhone owners can no longer update or redownload the app.
Enter Nvidia GeForce Now, the game streaming platform that currently supports Fortnite. According to BBC News, this will allow gamers to stream the latest PC version of Fortnite on their iPhones without needing the defunct iOS app — and allow Epic Games to reap 100% of the profits without violating Apple’s rules.
However, there is no guarantee that Nvidia will bring Fortnite to the iPhone, or if Epic Games will allow them to do so. It’s possible that this could in some way undermine Epic’s legal case against Apple.
In a statement to the BBC, Nvidia said that ‘Fortnite is not confirmed for GeForce Now on platforms beyond PC, Mac and Android,’ and that it would not comment on ‘any new clients coming to the service, or on the availability of any game on unannounced or unreleased platforms.’
The future of Apple gaming is browser-based
Nvidia isn’t the only company that has turned to a browser-based streaming solution for offering mobile streaming on iOS. According to sources at Microsoft, EVP Phil Spencer told employees that Game Pass would stream on iPhones and iPads using a ‘direct browser-based solution’ in 2021.
The main issue with this system is simply that many iPhone and iPad users will consider it less convenient and intuitive to access games through a browser, compared to a dedicated app. Particularly if Safari isn’t their typical browser of choice.
Yet Apple has given no sign that it plans to bend on this policy, so it’s the best that Apple owners can expect in the immediate future.