Monday, November 9, 2020

Fortnite to Return via Streaming

Hartley Charlton:

Plans are in place to allow users to play Epic Games’ “Fortnite” on iOS and iPadOS again using Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud gaming service in Safari, the BBC has discovered.


Using an online streaming service will allow Epic Games to circumvent Apple’s ban on the game as an app. iPhone and iPad owners will be able to play Fortnite without charge through GeForce Now’s free basic tier, though Nvidia limits these sessions to a duration of one hour.


The service is already available for Mac.



Update (2022-01-19): John Gruber:

If this works and Fortnite inside iOS Safari — as a web app! — works as well, or is even in the same ballpark, as the native Fortnite app did, this will be a landmark achievement and a technical marvel. If it’s not even in the same ballpark as native Fortnite, I don’t understand why Epic would put the Fortnite name on it.

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Apple’s software strategy needs to be first and foremost to be the best place to run software. Desirable for users, and desirable for developers (because of users).

Fifteen years ago, we had a fairly clear strategy on the Mac: Carbon was (mostly) the transitional technology; Cocoa/AppKit was the future. To prove viability, Apple made a number of Carbon and Cocoa apps both for consumers and professionals, ranging from iTunes all the way to Final Cut Pro.

Now, we have a confusing UI framework strategy (is autolayout effectively deprecated? Is Catalyst the successor to AppKit? Or is it a bridge until SwiftUI is more comprehensive?), a relative lack of compelling first-party apps, and a capricious App Review team.

Then, on top of that, we have our own developer community arguing that native apps are a thing of the past. OK, but, um, at that point, why not just buy a Chromebook?

Per se, one can think of many arguments why you don’t want Epic Games on your store any more (for starters, they clearly wanted to provoke an escalation). But if you look at the bigger picture, they’ve now failed that core tenet in my first sentence: how does removing the game make the experience better, or even just as good? It doesn’t. Instead, it leads to customers and Epic alike shrugging and moving on to a different platform, in this case GeForce Now (and, in an increasing amount of cases, the Web).

Apple needs to push the envelope to justify their software platforms’ continued existences.

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