What you need to know
- Fortnite will not be offered through Microsoft's xCloud gaming service.
- Epic Games views the service as a competing platform with their own PC offering.
Fortnite is not coming to Microsoft xCloud.
As reported by The Verge, a deposition with Joe Kreiner, Epic's vice president of business development, has revealed that the company is purposely holding back Fortnite from xCloud. According to Kreiner, Epic views xCloud as a direct competitor to its PC platform.
Joe Kreiner, Epic's vice president of business development, was questioned over why Fortnite isn't available on xCloud, and confirmed it was a deliberate choice. "We viewed Microsoft's efforts with xCloud to be competitive with our PC offerings," says Kreiner in the deposition. The court document makes it appear like Kreiner may go on to explain why, but the next part of the questioning has been redacted.
According to Kreiner, Epic has not attempted to negotiate with Microsoft over the company's usual requirement to use its game store and payments system.
Fortnite is a free-to-play game on Xbox, and the only way to currently access the game on an iPhone is through Nvidia's GeForce Now cloud gaming service. Epic Games partnered with Nvidia last year to launch Fortnite on GeForce Now and has helped Nvidia offer a number of other games from its PC game store on the Nvidia cloud gaming service, where all of the revenue from the original game's purchase or any in-app purchases goes back to Epic rather than Nvidia. As far as Epic is concerned, the game is simply running on a PC.
That is likely a key reason why Epic has favored Nvidia over Microsoft to host Fortnite in the cloud. Microsoft doesn't currently allow rival game stores on Xbox or xCloud in any form, and all transactions go through Microsoft there. In fact, Kreiner even admits that Epic Games hasn't tried to negotiate with Microsoft over the requirement to have to use the Xbox maker's store and commerce engine.
This development is notable because it is similar to the reason that Epic Games pulled Fortnite from Apple's App Store. The company is currently suing Apple to allow competing app stores on the iPhone as well as the ability to use their own payment system rather than Apple's in-app purchase platform.
Epic, rather than wanting to operate through the current standards of the App Store, Google Play Store, or xCloud, seems to be all-in on getting its own store and payments system on each platform.