Epic Games and Xbox have announced in a surprise reveal that users can now play Fortnite for free on iPhone through Xbox Cloud Gaming. The massively popular free-to-play battle royale will be available on any browser-enabled device, including iOS, iPadOS, Android, and Windows PC, without requiring installation or memberships. So long as you’re in one of the 26 countries where Xbox Cloud Gaming is enabled, all you need to do is to head to Xbox.com/play on your web browser and sign-in with your Microsoft account.
Fortnite available on iPhone despite Apple removing the game on the App Store
Monumental news everyone! Fortnite is now available to play FOR FREE streaming to web browsers on iPhone, iPad, and Android via Xbox Cloud. No subscription required, no 30% Apple tax.https://t.co/eHs1Xvh6D2
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) May 5, 2022
To understand why this happened, let’s untangle some of the feuds that are still simmering between Apple, Epic Games, and Microsoft. Apple had removed Fortnite from the App Store in August 2020 after Epic Games attempted to implement its own in-app payment system that circumvented Apple’s usual 30 percent fee. Apple also removed the Xbox Cloud Gaming app around the same time due to the company stating that cloud services are in violation of App Store guidelines. That said, Epic Games also withheld Fortnite from being a part of the Xbox Cloud Gaming lineup because it deemed Microsoft’s service as a competitor.
But in a case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Epic Games decided to join forces with Microsoft to test the ire of Apple by getting around the ban and allowing users to play Fortnite on iOS platforms anyway. (I’m not sure whether to roll my eyes at the pettinesss or to stand up and clap. Maybe both.) It must be said, though, that you could also play Fortnite on iPhone through Nvidia’s GeForce Now, but only if you were lucky enough to be a part of the closed beta.
Fortnite is also the first free-to-play game in Xbox Cloud Gaming’s catalog. If this brings enough new users to the service, Microsoft hopes to bring more free-to-play games to the lineup in its effort “to bring cloud gaming to 3 billion players around the world.”