Nvidia, Epic to bring Fortnite back to iPhones in 'near future'

The popular video game Fortnite by Epic Games is pictured on a screen in this picture illustration Aug 14, 2020.
PHOTO: Reuters

Nvidia Corp and Epic Games on Thursday said they are working together to put video game Fortnite back on Apple Inc’s iPhones in the “near future” as part of Nvidia’s streaming game service.

The popular game has been blocked on Apple’s devices since August, when Epic introduced its own billing system.

Apple said that violated its App Store rules and removed Fortnite from the store, igniting a legal and public relations battle in which Epic has sued Apple and alleged its App Store rules and fees amount to anticompetitive conduct.

But Nvidia and Epic said Fortnite will return to iPhones through the device’s Safari web browser, which is not subject to Apple’s billing requirements or rules.

Nvidia, the biggest supplier of chips that speed up video games, is expanding GeForce NOW, a cloud-based gaming service where PC games run inside its data centres and are streamed to devices.

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The chip firm said Thursday that it is rolling out a test version of GeForce NOW to Apple’s iPhones and iPads. The initial version of the service will require an accessory called a game pad that attaches to an iPhone to give it buttons and directional pad similar to a console or PC game controller.

Nvidia said in a blog post that the game pad will allow the service’s 5 million members to play titles such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Shadow of the Tomb Raider on iPhones.

Nvidia said it was working with Epic to bring a version of Fortnite to the Safari browser on iPhones that would not require a controller.

“We’re working to enable a touch-friendly version of ‘Fortnite,’ which will delay availability of the game,” Phil Eisler, head of Nvidia’s cloud gaming service, wrote in a blog post.

Nvidia said its cloud gaming service costs $4.99 (S$7) per month or $24.95 for a six-month membership.e