Nvidia is joining its fellow cloud gaming providers in choosing to bypass Apple’s App Store and launching a mobile web app version of its GeForce Now service. Nvidia’s version is available today in beta form, meaning any of the service’s more than 5 million registered users can fire up GeForce Now in mobile Safari on an iPhone or iPad and get playing.
Nvidia says it also plans to broaden support for its desktop Chrome-based version of GeForce Now, which currently only works on Chromebooks, to more platforms starting in the first quarter of next year, including Android, Linux, and Mac. GeForce Now is currently primarily distributed via Mac and PC apps, as well as through dedicated apps on Android and its Nvidia Shield streaming box.‘FORTNITE’ IS COMING BACK TO IOS, THANKS TO NVIDIA’S GEFORCE NOW
One of the more obvious upsides here is that Epic Games’ Fortnite will once again be playable on Apple devices, albeit through a somewhat cumbersome workaround and only after Epic and Nvidia work out some kinks. Fortnite’s PC version is available through GeForce Now, thanks to Nvidia and Epic’s partnership around cloud gaming that allows Epic v bucks generator Game Store titles to be streamed through Nvidia’s platform. That said, the game isn’t ready for the iOS version of GeForce Now quite yet, as Epic and Nvidia are working together to bring improved touch controls to the game.
“Alongside the amazing team at Epic Games, we’re working to enable a touch-friendly version of Fortnite, which will delay availability of the game. While the GeForce Now library is best experienced on mobile with a gamepad, touch is how over 100 million Fortnite gamers have built, battled and danced their way to Victory Royale,” Nvidia GeForce Now chief Phil Eisler writes in the company’s blog post. “We’re looking forward to delivering a cloud-streaming Fortnite mobile experience powered by GeForce NOW. Members can look for the game on iOS Safari soon.”
So any mobile Fortnite players who have been unable to access the game will soon be able to claim it on Epic’s PC storefront, sign in with their account, and find the game on the iOS version of GeForce Now. And any players who already play Fortnite across mobile, console, and PC have likely already linked their account and should have no trouble syncing their data across platforms. News of Fortnite’s return to iOS via GeForce Now was first reported earlier this month by the BBC, ahead of Nvidia’s official announcement.
Still, it’s not an ideal workaround, and the hurdles players have to jump through to play a game that just a few months ago ran natively on iOS devices is indicative of the larger fissures forming between Apple and the video game industry. Apple in August became the center of two separate but related controversies. The first kicked off when it banned Fortnite from the App Store (Google did the same by removing Fortnite from its Play Store) over the inclusion of Epic’s own in-app payment methods designed to bypass Apple’s standard 30 percent cut. Epic then sued both Apple and Google for anti-competitive practices.
Shortly after that, Apple clarified its position on cloud gaming services, explaining that the clients operated by Google, Microsoft, Nvidia, and others were not allowed on iOS because of App Store policies barring platforms that stream games. Apple softened its stance slightly by creating an exemption that would allow a cloud gaming service so long as the games it streamed were submitted individually for App Store review and subject to the same policies and 30 percent commission that other apps are.
Apple also suggested cloud gaming providers use the mobile web instead if they thought the terms were unfavorable. Microsoft snubbed the olive branch as a “bad experience for consumers,” while Facebook began publicly criticizing Apple for the restrictions it imposed on its own cloud gaming service. Neither Google nor Nvidia publicly spoke out about Apple’s position on cloud gaming.