For over six months now, it’s been abundantly clear that Google Stadia works and works well, but gamers have been clamoring for more games and none more so than Fortnite. Today, Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney took time to explain why Fortnite hasn’t launched on Stadia “yet.” In the […]
In the last few years, mobile gaming has grown massively in two similar, yet distinct directions. Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Microsoft xCloud have brought AAA video games to mobile devices through streaming, while the studios behind games like Fortnite, Roblox, and Minecraft have managed to get their games running directly on mobile hardware. That said, there’s no reason the two can’t coexist, especially given the rise in popularity of mid-range devices like the Samsung Galaxy A series and the OnePlus Nord.
Fans of Stadia have been wanting Fortnite to arrive on Google’s streaming platform as it would create an opportunity for the Stadia community to grow, but hopes have thus far been dashed, as Epic builds up their own Epic Games Store for PC and soon Android, while vocally disagreeing with the Google Play Store’s fee structure.
Today, we’ve learned the real reason that Fortnite hasn’t launched on Stadia, directly from Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney, in response to the direct question “Why isn’t Fortnite on Google Stadia?” In short, the answer is because Stadia isn’t big enough yet.
There’s not a deep reason. We fully support Stadia in Unreal Engine however the effort required to release Fortnite updates weekly in sync across 7+ platform is extreme and that makes it hard to add platforms that don’t yet have mass market user bases.
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) July 28, 2020
Unpacking the answer, Sweeney mentions that the Unreal Engine that Fortnite uses already fully supports making games for Stadia, which we’ve already seen proven out with games like Crayta. Epic Games is clearly more than willing to support developers that wish to bring games to Stadia.
As for their own game, the main reason Fortnite isn’t on Stadia lies in the difficulty of publishing a game — especially one with cross-play support — and its patches across a wide variety of platforms. Before adding one more platform such as Stadia to their mix of releases, Epic wants to see that platform have enough players to be considered “mass market.”
To his point, one could definitely argue that Stadia would benefit more from gaining Fortnite players than Fortnite would from gaining Stadia players.
That said, Sweeney specifically includes the word “yet,” leaving the door open to Fortnite arriving on Stadia in the future. Considering Google doesn’t currently offer any useful public statistics on the amount of Stadia players in the wild, it’s difficult for us to estimate the kind of growth Sweeney and Epic Games would need to see before bringing the massively popular game to Stadia.
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