If Google Stadia will celebrate its first anniversary in November, the cloud gaming service still lacks a true killer app that would make gamers take it more seriously. This could have been a free-to-play game allowing anyone to try the game streaming service without a second thought, but unfortunately for Google, it looks like Fortnite isn’t going to assume that role.
Replying to a tweet asking him why Fortnite wasn’t available on Google Stadia, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said that Stadia’s userbase remains too small to make a port worth the effort for Epic Games (via 9to5Google). "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,” Sweeney explained.
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
Google Stadia chose Destiny 2 as its big launch title, but the new free-to-play version of the loot shooter curiously isn’t available on the Stadia Store. To our knowledge, there are no other free-to-play games on Stadia that could help to increase its userbase, and that’s probably something Google will need to address in the near future.
In the meantime, Google announced yesterday that Stadia users could now opt in to try the cloud gaming service on 4G and 5G networks. That’s something Stadia didn't support until now, while Microsoft’s Project xCloud has been working on mobile networks since the launch of the public preview last fall.
Project xCloud will officially launch in September as part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, and its userbase will likely grow at a a much quicker pace than Stadia's. Not only will xCloud support over 100 Xbox One games at launch, but with Microsoft offering one month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for just $1 for new subscribers, the barrier to entry should also be much lower.