Epic is deliberately keeping ‘Fortnite’ off Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Game service

On Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) service, you’ll find games from major publishers like EA, Take-Two and Ubisoft, but what you won’t see is anything from Epic Games. And we know why: the studio sees xCloud as competition.

That’s the latest tidbit of information to come out of Epic’s ongoing legal battle with Apple. In a deposition spotted by The Verge, Joe Kreiner, Epic’s vice president of business development, fielded questions about xCloud during the trial. He noted the decision to keep Fortnite off the service was a deliberate choice on the company’s part. “We viewed Microsoft’s efforts with xCloud to be competitive with our PC offerings,” he said. Unfortunately, while it seems Kreiner may have gone on to explain more of Epic’s thought process on the subject, the section that follows is redacted from the document.

But as The Verge points out, Fortnite is available through NVIDIA’s GeForce Now service. It’s also possible to play Epic Games Store exclusives like Mortal Shell through the platform. Of course, the critical difference between the two is that with NVIDIA’s offering you’re playing games you bought directly from Steam, the Epic Games Store and other online stores. With Xbox Cloud Gaming, by contrast, all transactions go through Microsoft, and the company doesn’t allow for competing storefronts. Ultimately, it’s those two issues that are the heart of Epic’s lawsuit with Apple. The studio believes Apple should allow companies to operate competing storefronts on iOS where they’re also free to employ their own payment systems.  

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