Xbox makes ‘Fortnite’ game free on iPhones

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

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

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

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

Apple and Google dominate the market, with their operating systems running on the majority of the world’s smart phones. 

Microsoft has courted the favor of antitrust regulators scrutinizing its 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 needs to pass muster with regulators in Europe and the United States intent on reining in tech titans.