This is a blow to a lot of gamers.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has revealed that the company has no plans to offer support for Fortnite on Valve’s upcoming Steam Deck. This come’s after the CEO praised the Steam Deck in 2021, saying it is an “amazing move by Valve,” applauding the device for its “open platform where users are free to install software or their choosing.”
While Fortnite is not available on Steam, the battle royale shooter should be capable of running on the Steam Deck. This is due to one of its main selling points, it is essentially a handheld PC meaning it can run a wide variety of software. Once the portable PC launches, gamers will be able to customize the device to their personal specifications, even being able to upgrade its internal storage.
The news of Fortnite’s incompatibility on the Steam Deck came in a series of tweets. Twitter account @Stormy178 asked Sweeney, “@TimSweeneyEpic Just a quick question, any plans to update @FortniteGame to make Proton/Wine be compatible with EAC and BattlEye anti-cheat on Linux?” Easy Anti-Cheat and BattlEye each allow Fortnite to be run in Proton, the software which enables native Windows games to play on Steam OS. In response to this question, Sweeney said, “Fortnite no, but there’s a big effort underway to maximize Easy Anti Cheat compatibility with Steam Deck.” Adding, “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’s response suggests that Epic’s Anit-Cheat is suitable for some games, but not Fortnite. Sweeney said in subsequent tweets, “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! 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.”
Fortnite may not be available on the Steam Deck, but plenty of other games will reportedly run great. The handheld gaming machine will release this month on February 25, 2022.