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.