Fortnite will reportedly return to iPhones via Nvidia's GeForce Now web client

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,641   +616
Staff member
Rumor mill: Fortnite may come back to the iPhone, and Epic will not have to pay the Apple Tax. According to the rumor, Nvidia is allegedly working on a GeForce Now web client that's compatible with the iOS version of the Safari browser. If the cloud service offers Fortnite, Epic could give Apple the finger and skip the App Store altogether.

Epic may soon have a way to get Fortnite back on iPhones. On Thursday, the BBC reported that Nvidia is working on a version of its GeForce Now cloud gaming platform that will work on Apple's Safari mobile browser. If true, Epic will not only get its wildly popular game back into iPhone users' hands, but it will also circumvent the 30-percent Apple Tax in the process.

Before Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store last summer, there were reportedly more than 116 million players who played the game on iPhone, with 73 million playing the iOS version exclusively. That is a massive chunk of players that Epic stands to gain back.

Don't get too excited just yet, though. Nvidia has not officially announced GeForce Now for mobile Safari, and the company declined to comment on the matter.

"Nvidia is not commenting on any new clients coming to the service, or on the availability of any game on unannounced or unreleased platforms," a spokesman told the BBC. "Fortnite is not confirmed for GeForce Now on platforms beyond PC, Mac, and Android."

CNBC reached out to Epic regarding the possibility of returning to iPhones via a mobile GeForce Now web client, but it was also reluctant to comment.

"We don't have a comment. The information has not been confirmed by Epic or Nvidia," a spokesperson said.

Additionally, Apple may do something to prevent the move. Right now, there are no restrictions for creating and operating cloud gaming platforms on Safari for iOS, but that could change. Indeed, when asked if the company had any problems with Fortnite being played on iPhones through the GeForce Now Safari client, Apple pointed to a statement from August regarding App Store submissions.

"Our customers enjoy great apps and games from millions of developers, and gaming services can absolutely launch on the App Store as long as they follow the same set of guidelines applicable to all developers, including submitting games individually for review."

Cupertino's response skirts the issue since we are not talking about apps on the App Store, but it does sound like it is not keen on the idea. Given the bitter history between the two companies, it is hard to imagine Apple letting this happen, although it is unclear what it could do to prevent it.

Image credit: Fortnite by Vladimka Production, GeForce Now by nikkimeel

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terzaerian

Posts: 37   +34
Apple better watch it's back - they can screw with Epic but they can't screw with Nvidia, especially after the latter bought Arm.

Nvidia could make things really difficult for them real quick.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 333   +405
Apple has never blocked a website from running, and considering a streaming service uses pretty standard technologies, there's basically nothing they will be able to de-support to stop this. So yes, Fortnite does have a very real possibility of returning to iPhones while skirting the 30% tax as long as it works fast enough on iPhones. I have a feeling this would cost more than the 30% app store tax Apple is asking for though...
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,048   +1,938
TechSpot Elite
Apple has never blocked a website from running, and considering a streaming service uses pretty standard technologies, there's basically nothing they will be able to de-support to stop this. So yes, Fortnite does have a very real possibility of returning to iPhones while skirting the 30% tax as long as it works fast enough on iPhones. I have a feeling this would cost more than the 30% app store tax Apple is asking for though...
Apple might find a convenient way to get around it, or delay it. They did find a convenient way to take down the Stadium app a few weeks after.
And remember, all browser-based apps must use the Safari API.
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 333   +405
Apple might find a convenient way to get around it, or delay it. They did find a convenient way to take down the Stadium app a few weeks after.
And remember, all browser-based apps must use the Safari API.
Source? Here's mine: https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/

Quote from the first paragraph: "For everything else there is always the open Internet. If the App Store model and guidelines are not best for your app or business idea that’s okay, we provide Safari for a great web experience too."

There is no official API for PWA's and as such all browser-based apps are browser specific. This does not mean Apple is going to ban PWA's, nor have they ever. There are tons of examples of PWA's where Apple gets 0 cut over any payments that happen there: https://love2dev.com/pwa/progressive-web-application-examples/
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,048   +1,938
TechSpot Elite
Source? Here's mine: https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/

Quote from the first paragraph: "For everything else there is always the open Internet. If the App Store model and guidelines are not best for your app or business idea that’s okay, we provide Safari for a great web experience too."

There is no official API for PWA's and as such all browser-based apps are browser specific. This does not mean Apple is going to ban PWA's, nor have they ever. There are tons of examples of PWA's where Apple gets 0 cut over any payments that happen there: https://love2dev.com/pwa/progressive-web-application-examples/
...What? Source for what?

As mentioned in the article, it's not just me thinking Apple might do something about bypassing the App Store in this way.

Anyways, they are still at Apple's mercy since Apple controls all the iOS web browsing with their Safari API.
And that's if setting it up as a PWA would even fully work for something more complex like the type of game streaming NVidia would want (considering they don't have control over it like a dedicated app). Not that I think controllers will be supported for PWA...

Edit: Looks like Safari has very recently added gamepad support.
 
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LuckyMenace

Posts: 28   +14
I don’t know how Nvidia is going to solve the technical issues like input latency and performance. Even on a native app, game streaming performance, especially for a competitive shooter, is not going to be good enough.