Epic’s Darling Fortnite Will Not Be on Valve’s Handheld Console
Fortnite’s one of those games you can play on basically anything nowadays, and this is by no means an accident. Epic Games wants their flagship moneymaker to be as accessible as possible. Their audience skews younger, and those fans can’t buy their own consoles – but they can still easily afford microtransactions. Fortnite’s accessibility is an intentional part of the game’s monetization – which makes it strange that the game won’t be coming to Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck.
Why is this? There has to be a good reason. Brand rivalry, perhaps? Unlikely – Tim Sweeny, CEO at Epic, has praised the Steam Deck in the past, calling it an “amazing move by Valve”.
You see, the Steam Deck runs on a specific Linux Operating System. One totally capable of running Fortnite, but one that doesn’t play as nicely with Epic’s anti-cheat software. It’s fine for most games using Easy Anti-Cheat or BattlEye, which Fortnite uses. But apparently, Fortnite’s size makes it a special case.
“We don’t have confidence that we’d be able to combat cheating at scale under a wide array of kernel configurations including custom ones.” Said Tim Sweeny, in reference to the open-source nature and customizability of Linux. He later clarified that Fortnite’s size is the biggest factor at play here.
With regard to anti-cheat on the Linux platform supporting custom kernels and the threat model to a game of Fortnite’s size, YES THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT!
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) February 7, 2022