Epic Games, or at least its outspoken CEO Tim Sweeney, doesn’t like Google that much. To be more specific, he has chided the tech giant’s handling of Android’s Google Play Store, particularly the revenue sharing, though he has recently finally called Apple out as well. For the longest time, one of the company’s biggest titles was absent from Google Play Store though Fortnite finally did land there last April. The game is still noticeably missing from Google’s other gaming platform and Sweeney’s reason subtly disparages the game streaming platform’s relevance.
Tim Sweeney has become something of a leader, advocate, and revolutionary in taking up the cause for game developers against the powers that be. That mostly revolves around the controversial 70/30 split between game developers and store owners that includes Steam and Google. In contrast, he believes the 30% tax is fine on Apple’s App Store because of Apple’s innovations and investments there.
This time, though, Epic Games isn’t making an ideological stance against game streaming by snubbing Google’s Stadia. In fact, Sweeney says that the company’s widely-used Unreal Engine is fully supported on that platform. His reason, instead, is that Stadia doesn’t have the mass market user base that would warrant adding one more to Fortnite’s already 7+ supported platforms.
That’s an odd remark to make considering Fortnite is on NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW game streaming service. Neither Google nor NVIDIA has released numbers so it’s not easy to compare which of the two has the bigger user base but neither can hardly be considered “mass market” at this point, especially considering both services’ limited availability.
The subtle jab also points to how game streaming isn’t a magical panacea for both gamers and developers and requires just as much work for the latter. Google doesn’t seem to be in a rush to get more games and developers onboard either, which is another point of hesitation for developers and publishers, which, in turn, stalls Stadia’s growth into a mass market service large enough to convince Epic Games to jump in as well.