A new report confirmed Epic Games won’t support Fortnite on Steam Deck, as the new handheld PC is naturally running its main competitor’s SteamOS as its default operating system.
While it’s not surprising to hear Epic Games won’t support Fortnite on Steam Deck, the official statement comes from Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, who actually likes the Steam Deck.
As Fortnite is Epic Games flagship game, it is naturally exclusive to their digital PC store and platform – the Epic Games Store. In theory, you could throw down a fresh copy of Windows onto the Steam Deck and run Fortnite on Steam Deck anyway through the EGS, subverting the Linux-based SteamOS it ships with.
“Fortnite no, but there’s a big effort underway to maximize Easy Anti Cheat compatibility with Steam Deck,” Sweeney said to a fan asking if they’d support the battle royale shooter on the new handheld. When asked why they aren’t updating the game or its anti-cheat platform so it’s compatible with Proton, which used with Wine can run most Windows games in Linux.
“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,” Sweeney said.
His suggestion that Easy Anti-Cheat (which Epic owns) can be used for other games on Steam Deck but not Fortnite is interesting. Linux is generally open source, so players could circumvent anti-cheat software. The Epic CEO then went on to suggest it’s actually the scale of Fortnite that makes it more prone to being exploited.
“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!” he said.
Sweeney added, “The threat model for anti-cheat varies per game based on the number of active players and ability to gain profit by selling cheats or gain prominence by cheating. Hence anti-cheat which suffices for one game may not for another game with 10, 100, or 1000 times more players.”
Valve’s Steam Deck is available for pre-order in three flavors: $399 (64GB), $529 (256GB), and $649 (512GB), over on the Steam store, and is set to launch on February 25th.
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