Xbox makes Fortnite free to play on iPhones

Microsoft’s video game unit Xbox said on Thursday it will use cloud computing to make “Fortnite” free to play on mobile devices powered by Apple or Android software.

Microsoft’s video game unit Xbox said on Thursday it will use cloud computing to make “Fortnite” free to play on mobile devices powered by Apple or Android software.

Epic Games’ popular battle royale title will be the first free-to-play game available through an Xbox Cloud Gaming service available in 26 countries, product head Catherine Gluckstein said in a blog post.

Fortnite’s return to iPhones and iPads comes after the game was launched from Apple’s App Store for trying to bypass the payment system in violation of the iPhone maker’s rules.

Apple has clashed in court with Epic, which accused the iPhone maker of having a monopoly on its App Store store for digital goods and services.

A US federal judge in November ordered Apple to relax its control over payment options in the App Store, but said Epic had not proven any antitrust violations.

“Fortnite” will be free with Xbox Cloud Gaming as a result of a partnership with Epic.

Fans of the game can play on Apple iOS devices, Android phones or tablets, as well as Windows computers via web browsers, Gluckstein said.

Apple and Google dominate the market and their operating systems run on most smartphones in the world.

“This is just the beginning for us,” Gluckstein said.

“We will learn, implement feedback and, over time, try to bring even more free-to-play titles to players via the cloud.”

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Microsoft has won favor from antitrust regulators who are scrutinizing their plan to buy video game maker Activision Blizzard, promising that any app store it builds will treat developers fairly.

Microsoft’s $69 billion deal to buy the video game powerhouse has to endure with regulators in Europe and the United States looking to curb tech titans.

Principles set forth by Microsoft included that all developers could access the app store and not have to use the technology company’s payment system for in-app transactions.

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