Epic Games doesn’t plan to update Fortnite so it will run on SteamOS according to CEO Tim Sweeney, meaning owners of the upcoming Valve Steam Deck will likely need to install Windows to play the popular battle royale game.
In a series of tweetsSweeney said the company is not confident in its ability to fight fraud Fortnite when running on custom kernel configurations. Fortnite it’s not on the Steam store anyway, but Sweeney’s comments rule out a Linux version that could run on the Steam Deck.
The Steam Deck uses Valve’s SteamOS, which is based on Linux, and uses a compatibility layer called Proton, so that Steam games compiled for Windows can run on it. Epic has made its anti-cheat software, Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC), compatible with Linux and Proton, so developers using it can run their games on the Steam Deck without any problems. For now, however, Epic itself won’t be one of them, at least not with Fortnite.
With regard to anti-cheat on the Linux platform that supports custom kernels and the threat model for a game the size of Fortnite, YES THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT!— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) February 7, 2022
When contacted for comment by The edge, Sweeney described Linux as “a terribly difficult audience to serve given the variety of incompatible configurations.” When asked if it would be possible to enable compatibility only for SteamOS, he said, “Linux is already a small market and if you break it down into blessed kernel versions, it’s even smaller.” It might not be worth Epic working on security for what will be a relatively small audience, at least at first.
By the way, it’s not like Steam Deck owners can’t play Fortnite not at all — there is always the option to install Windows on the machine. Sweeney praised the Steam Deck as a “great move from ValveWhen it was first announced, it called it “an open platform where users are free to install software” [of] their choice – including Windows and other stores.”