Fortnite is coming back to iOS, but not on the App Store

Fortnite is back on iOS — well, kind of. Through Nvidia’s streaming game service GeForce Now, mobile users on iOS and Android will be able to play a touch-control version of Fortnite through cloud gaming. Players can now register to join the closed beta test for Fortnite’s new mobile work-around — you don’t need to have a paid account to play, and paying won’t give you priority for getting off the waitlist. But if you want to play Fortnite on mobile for longer than an hour, you might be driven to upgrade.

Fortnite hasn’t been playable on iOS devices since August 2020, when it was kicked off the App Store for trying to skirt Apple’s 30% commission on in-app purchases. Then, Fortnite developer Epic Games sued Apple, alleging that the tech company is a monopoly that violates antitrust laws. In September, the California court ruled that Apple cannot prohibit developers from adding links for alternative payments outside the App Store. But Apple ultimately had the upper hand in the ruling: the court said the tech giant was not acting as a monopoly like Epic claimed.

But neither Apple nor Epic was happy with the ruling, so both parties appealed it. Apple also convinced the appeals court to grant it more time before the injunction goes into effect. That means it didn’t have to make the court-ordered App Store changes dictated by the original ruling.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has remained a vocal dissident of Apple, so it’s up in the air if we’d ever see a Fortnite iOS app any time soon, even if the two entities come to an agreement.