Confidential emails surfaced in the ongoing Epic v. Apple trial have revealed more details about Walmart’s long-rumoured unannounced game streaming service.
Per the documents, Walmart had pitched the service, codenamed Project Storm, to Epic in April 2019, and Mark Rein, the Fortnite maker’s co-founder, came away impressed.
“I played Walmart’s demo on an Android phone (with an Xbox controller) and the experience felt like playing on PS4 and superior to playing on Android or iOS,” said Rein in an email thread. To accompany the service, Rein said Walmart was also planning to sell a clip for “like $2 [USD]” that would let players attach their phone to a controller.
Walmart had told Epic that Project Storm would run on Windows and support third-party game launchers like Steam, Epic Games Store, Uplay, Origin, Battle.net and Bethesda Launcher.
Another key feature that Walmart was reportedly planning was the ability to download games on top of streaming them. This would be a pretty major selling point, given that existing game streaming services like Xbox Game Pass Cloud Gaming and Google Stadia do not offer download options. Being able to download a title would, of course, help to eliminate any of the network issues that can stem from streaming.
Interestingly, the documents state that Walmart was planning a beta period for Project Storm in July 2019, although it’s unclear why that ultimately never happened. Further, it’s unclear whether Project Storm will even see the light of day.
Epic, for its part, has since partnered with Nvidia to bring Fortnite to its GeForce Now streaming service. This is currently the only way to play Fortnite on iOS following Apple’s removal of the massively popular battle royale game from the App Store.
This decision, which Apple made in retaliation for Epic circumventing App Store policies to offer an alternative in-game Fortnite payment option, is at the centre of the ongoing legal dispute between the two companies.
Epic alleges that Apple is exhibiting monopolistic business practices on the App Store with the 30 percent cut it takes on app and game revenue, and has filed a lawsuit against the company accordingly. Apple, meanwhile, argues that its App Store policies are important to offering a safe and secure ecosystem.
The trial began on May 3rd and is slated to run for three weeks.
Via: The Verge