According to a new deposition made public as part of Epic’s case against Apple, it has been revealed that Epic is the one holding back Fortnite from becoming available on Xbox Cloud Gaming as it sees that service as competition.
As reported by The Verge, Epic’s vice president of business development Joe Kreiner was asked why Fortnite isn’t yet available on Xbox Cloud Gaming, which was previously known as Project xCloud.
Kreiner responded and said, “we viewed Microsoft’s efforts with xCloud to be competitive with our PC offerings.” The court documents look to also include more of Kreiner’s explanation of Epic’s decision to block Fortnite from the service, but that part of the questioning has been redacted.
Fortnite is free-to-play on Xbox consoles, but the only way to currently play the game on an iPhone is via Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud gaming service. Epic partnered with Nvidia to make this happen, and ensured that “all of the revenue from the original game’s purchase or any in-app purchases goes back to Epic rather than Nvidia.”
Microsoft currently doesn’t allow for rival game stores to be on Xbox or Xbox Cloud Gaming, and all transactions would go through Microsoft. This is one of the main reasons Kreiner and Epic Games haven’t even tried to negotiate with Microsoft over a solution.
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Epic and Apple are set to go to an in-person trial on May 3, all over issues that began when Epic implemented a direct-pay system into Fortnite that aimed to bypass the Apple App Store and its 30% cut.
Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store, and it still remains off of it as of this writing. Interestingly enough, The Verge also notes from these documents that iOS only accounted for 7% of the total revenue for Fortnite, with PS4 generating 46.8% and Xbox One generated 27.5% from March 2018 through July 2020.
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