Microsoft has collaborated with Epic Games to bring Epic Games’ battle royale for free to computers, mobile phones, and tablets worldwide, with a service used by more than 10 million people.
Fortnite Battle Royale no longer requires a modern computer, console or relatively powerful mobile phone (although developers removed the game from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store in August 2020) to work. Microsoft and Epic Games have collaborated to make the title available for free through Xbox Cloud Gaming in 25 countries where the service is available. In addition, Xbox is working on incorporating more free games into the cloud gaming service, which we can enjoy without requiring a subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (the only way to try Xbox Cloud Gaming so far).
To play Fortnite Battle Royale from any Windows computer, Android mobiles and tablets, iPhone and iPad, you only need to have a Microsoft account and access Xbox.com/play from the web browser (on PC, there are improvements in Microsoft Edge, for TRUE). No installation is required, and you can use a gamepad or native touch controls .
“It’s an important step to add a free-to-play title to the cloud gaming catalogue as we continue our journey in the cloud,” Catherine Gluckstein, vice president and product manager for Xbox Cloud Gaming, said. “We are starting with Fortnite and will add more free-to-play games that people love in the future. At Xbox, we want to make the game accessible to the 3 billion players worldwide, and the cloud has an important role in that mission.”
Gluckstein has shared other data regarding the use of Xbox Cloud Gaming, which is still in beta. So far, more than 10 million people worldwide have used it; the only way to try it is with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. The service has been used on more than 6,000 types of devices: different Android models, iPhones of different generations, and a variety of PCs.
Xbox Cloud Gaming launched more than two years ago, a period in which Microsoft has worked with more than 125 developers to make more than 350 games in the Xbox Game Pass catalogue compatible with the cloud. The executive says that subscribers who use the cloud service try twice as many games as those who do not.
He also explains that there are more and more Cloud Aware games. While developers don’t have to modify the code of their games to make them compatible with Xbox Cloud Gaming, they do have the option to create a variety of changes specifically for cloud gaming, such as adding touch controls specific to a particular title or adjusting the size of the game of the interface depending on the device you are streaming on.
Thus, there are more than 150 Xbox Game Pass games with touch controls, and on average, games compatible with Xbox Cloud Gaming that have touch controls are played twice as long as those that do not; in fact, 20% of Xbox Cloud Gaming users only use touch controls.
Microsoft’s cloud gaming service is coming to more unspecified countries soon. The last to join that list have been Mexico, Japan, Australia and Brazil, but the latter in particular has exceeded the company’s expectations. “Adoption was so huge in the first couple of weeks that our servers were overwhelmed when we had to add more hardware to meet demand quickly.”
Xbox Cloud Gaming started two years ago only compatible with Android, and runs on servers powered by Xbox One S consoles. Custom Xbox Series X is currently used, and we can use the service from Xbox Series, Xbox One, Windows computers, Android, iOS, and in the testing phase also on Steam Deck. Microsoft’s commitment to cloud gaming is such that the company announced a publishing imprint dedicated to cloud-exclusive gaming a few months ago .