Epic Won’t Release Fortnite on Xbox Cloud Gaming

Posted on April 29, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Mobile gaming, PC gaming, PlayStation, Project xCloud, Xbox, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X with 16 Comments

Epic Games revealed in its depositions in the Apple antitrust case that it will not release Fortnite on Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming service.

“We view Microsoft’s efforts with [Xbox Cloud Gaming] to be competitive with our PC offerings,” Epic vice president Joe Kreiner said during his deposition when asked whether Epic made a “deliberate decision” to not offer it on that service.

What follows are paragraphs of redacted text, so it’s unclear where the conversation went from there. When it picks up again, Kreiner is asked about GeForce Now, another game streaming service that Epic Games, curiously, does support.

“A user using that service has access to their library of games on multiple storefronts,” Kreiner says of GeForce Now. I guess that explains it.

One other interesting tidbit emerged from various depositions related to the case: While Epic Games’ decision to fight both Apple and Google is controversial, it turns out that the firm makes more money from Fortnite on videogame consoles from Sony and Microsoft than it does on mobile. 47 percent of Fortnite’s revenues come from PlayStation, while Xbox generated 27.5 percent. The iPhone accounted for only 7 percent of Fortnite’s revenues before Apple banned it, with Android, Nintendo Switch, and PCs collectively accounting for the remainder.

“iOS was always the lowest or second-lowest [by revenues] if Android was listed, correct?” Epic CFO Joe Babcock was asked. “Yes,” he replied.

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Comments (19)

19 responses to “Epic Won’t Release Fortnite on Xbox Cloud Gaming”

  1. glenn8878

    Makes me wonder why they are bothering with Apple in proportion to the revenue it will earn.

    • MikeCerm

      In reply to glenn8878:

      I suspect that actually is part of the reason. They could afford to lose the revenue they were getting when they began the fight with Apple, then battle it out in the courts, with the intention of trying to get Apple to eventually change the pricing terms for all the future games that Epic might release on iOS. If you make a stand-alone iOS game and all the revenue for that game is depending on Apple not kicking you out of the store, that would probably be a bad time to go to war with Apple.

    • Paul Thurrott

      Because they are trying to stop the gatekeepers that now control app and payment access on dominant platforms.
  2. tripleplayed

    xCloud is only Game Pass games atm. So makes sense they don't need it in Game Pass.


    Hope Epic wins this case though, the iOS App Store needs to open up.

  3. curtisspendlove

    As I’ve been saying all along. This premeditated campaign was never about Fortnite.


    It’s about getting Epic Game Store on all other platforms so they can try to dominate.


    They don’t care about monopolies, unless they *aren’t* the monopoly.


    It doesn’t take a lot of research to figure this out.


    read some more in the depositions. You’ll find this was a premeditated, long-planned campaign. They even hired some media giant to orchestrate the campaign. (Which I’m guessing is where their little video stunt came from.)


    And I hope the judge hands their ass back to them.

    • Paul Thurrott

      This is a tragically wrong worldview. Who cares how long it was in the works?
      • curtisspendlove

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        C’mon Paul.


        Apple has some things it should do differently. We all know that.


        But we also all know that Epic premeditatedly broke the contract they agreed to (and benefited from).


        All Apple really has to prove here is that they acted in accordance to their developer license agreement.


        Trying to ban Unreal and all apps that used it was a bad call. And that will likely bite them.


        But Epic is *not* the good guy in this instance. They knew they were breaking their contract to try to get publicity and play the “poor wounded soldier”.


        And whether we like it or not this matters in this sort of case. And Apple are lining up all those ducks.


        It entertains me that they have successfully snowballed so many people into believing they are the good guys while their overall goal is to be more like Apple.

        • rm

          In reply to curtisspendlove:

          So, you are saying that Epic was smart about how to confront the big bully that has been taking Epic's lunch money at school. Good job Epic!

          • curtisspendlove

            In reply to RM:

            So, you are saying that Epic was smart about how to confront the big bully that has been taking Epic's lunch money at school. Good job Epic!


            Nope. Let me try again.


            Epic is mad that they aren’t the big bully. And they want to be. So they have orchestrated a campaign to get their game store on all other platforms.


            And they did it in pretty much the dick-iest way possible.


            No one can possibly think Epic doesn’t want the top Games / App Store spot.


            I think it’s worth pointing out, yet again, that Epic is a pretty big bully when it comes to intimidating Indy game developers into taking their exclusivity deals.


            It’s on the internet. Read it.

            • curtisspendlove

              In reply to curtisspendlove:

              I’ll also add the following points from Apple’s arguments (which are quite interesting to me):


              • Fortnite's average monthly users declined between 2018 and 2019, and Epic noticed when #RIPFortnite trended on Twitter. (See? Developers do hear you. And then they develop elaborate plans to sue Apple.)
              • Epic believed Fortnite could be reinvigorated by turning it into a platform for creators, but felt that platform fees, like the App Store fee, might hinder the plan.
              • Epic called its plan to go after Apple and Google "Project Liberty." Sweeney was "in the loop" on it "100 percent." (I mean, obviously, he tweets about it all the time.)
              • 100-200 Epic employees were involved with "Project Liberty."
              • Epic knew the public wouldn't necessarily sympathize with it when it defied Apple's rules, and was concerned about looking like "the baddies." It paid a PR firm $300,000 to work on Project Liberty. 
              • Epic has made more than $700 million just through Fortnite iOS transactions. (Which is one reason its Epic Games Store losses are no big deal.)


          • Saarek

            In reply to RM:

            Nah, he's saying it's just one greedy corporate company trying to get better terms out of another greedy corporate company so that they can make more money. There are no white knights in this story.

        • Calibr21

          In reply to curtisspendlove:


          No you are wrong here. Who cares epic broke the agreement on purpose when the agreement is overly restrictive and stifles competition.


          Apple is in the wrong and cheers on Epic for hopefully kickstarting a change in Apple policies.


          Im sure any developer that is paying 15% vs 30% right now loves epic. Epic literally doubled their revenue overnight. How is Epic in the wrong here?

        • Paul Thurrott

          There's no version of this story in which Epic is the bad guy. They are doing the right thing, not just for them, but for all developers and all users of mobile app stores. We can't thank them enough for this.
  4. scovious

    Fortnite is already available on all mobile platforms and supports cross progression, and cross play. There's virtually no gain for them to put it on Game Pass Ultimate. This seems like a non issue.

  5. behindmyscreen

    "We won't put our game on their service....even though they are obviously moving to a cloud only solution for gaming"


    I would really like it if MS would integrate with Steam libraries though like GForce Now.

  6. wunderbar

    I mean.... are there any other F2P games on the Xbox platform that support cloud gaming? (outside of something Microsoft may own?). An admittedly quick skim of the current games on Cloud Gaming shows that Destiny 2 would be one, as the base game is F2P but the expansions aren't. So that is one other 3rd party F2P game on Cloud Gaming.


    This is one of those stories I see across a whole lot of news websites and I just... don't understand why it is news.

  7. Calibr21

    Long term this is similar to Disney not putting their shows on Netflix.


    If cloud gaming via a subscription model takes off, every major publisher will have their own streaming service. Ubisoft, EA, Epic. Microsoft is likely willing to sell the major publishers the cloud backend service via Azure because if they don’t Amazon or Google will.


    Microsoft knows this and is why they are so heavily investing in purchasing studios to create original content and build a content library to differentiate GamePass from other future competing services.


    If GamePass and Ubisoft+ become smart apps on your tv, then they will both be bidding on 3rd party content (like mlb the show) to attract users. You need strong first party offerings so you aren’t dependent on bidding wars for content.

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