Epic Games and Microsoft recently formed a partnership to make Fortnite available for free on mobile devices, PCs, and other devices with a web browser, as part of Microsoft’s Xbox Everywhere initiative. According to Newzoo, Cloud Gaming is expected to bring in $1.6 billion in revenue by 2021, a small number in the grand scheme of things.
According to various reports, traditional, hardware-based gaming does not even come close. That’s because initiatives like Google Stadia and Xbox Games Pass have failed to attract sufficient numbers of users. No matter how appealing no-download and low-requirements cloud gaming sounds, gamers have yet to warm up.
“Fortnite” is the first of many (hopefully high quality) Cloud-based gaming experiences.
This project’s first title, Fortnite, is a solid one that indicates the collection’s future focus on higher-end games. This could be the beginning of a new era for cloud gaming. Unfortunately, subscription services like Stadia and Xbox Game Pass haven’t been able to attract enough gamers.
Microsoft could achieve considerable success with its free-to-play system instead of requiring specialized hardware or an exorbitantly priced device. Officially, the company stated:
Starting with a popular game like Fortnite could bring in a lot of new players, and they could also gain much attention if they manage to back the service with more prominent titles. This is a big deal in the mobile market, as players don’t have to wait for game developers to release a port but can instead stream the game. A free-to-play and easily accessible system sounds far more appealing than other services have promised.
It could be the first serious challenger to cloud gaming on the Xbox platform.
Microsoft has a good head start over its only other major competitor, Stadia, which has been a disappointment thus far. Since Fortnite planned to work with Nvidia, it can also be said that they’re ahead of the curve because they chose Xbox Cloud over what Nvidia had to offer.
Although it might take a few more years, cloud gaming could finally mature, overcoming a period of uncertainty and doubt for both players and service providers. If there are some game-changers in the race (like Xbox Cloud Games), it would probably speed up the process. There is still a lot to figure out.
There is a chance that the beta will be rolled out to other regions and eventually released worldwide. This could be yet another platform for smaller developers is also worth mentioning. Currently, these services are mainly focused on AAA games.
However, as the popularity of cloud gaming grows, indie developers may begin to take notice. There is some evidence that Microsoft has done something in this regard because they have reduced their cut to just 12 percent, giving them an advantage over the Play Store and App Store, which take 30 percent. It will be interesting to see where this venture goes, given that the only requirements are a working internet connection, a Microsoft account, and a web browser.