Epic Games holds back Fortnite from being on Microsoft’s gaming service

Viewing Microsoft’s Cloud Gaming Service as a threat to its own PC offerings, Epic Games is holding back the online video game Fortnite from being available on xCloud, as revealed by Joe Kreiner, Epic’s vice president of business development. Microsoft had confirmed its timeline for bringing its xCloud cloud gaming service to Apple’s iOS platform and to Windows PCs, with the company saying it will support iPhone, iPad, and PC starting in spring 2021.

Fortnite is distributed as three different game modes, using the same engine; each has similar graphics, art assets, and game mechanics:Fortnite: Save the World,
Fortnite Battle Royale, and  Fortnite Creative

The only way to currently access the game on iPhone is through Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud gaming service. This was a strategic two-fold financial move. All of the revenue from the original game’s purchase or any in-app purchases goes back to Epic rather than Nvidia. Secondly, Epic Games had helped  Nvidia offer a number of other games from its PC game store. As far as Epic is concerned, the game runs on a PC.

Epic’s entire case against Apple revolves around how Apple uses the market power of its legal monopoly over iOS to dominate the secondary market for app distribution. However, “Apple wanted to ensure that iOS devices were more protected from those malware and instability issues and quality issues that the PC world was used to,” Apple claims in its filing.

A reason for favoring  Nvidia over Microsoft to host Fortnite in the cloud could hence be how  Microsoft doesn’t currently allow rival game stores on Xbox or xCloud in any form, and all transactions go through Microsoft there, which cuts the financial incentive for the company.