Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney says that there won't be a Fortnite Steam Deck version, citing concerns about the viability of anti-cheat on the platform.
Fortnite is one of the biggest Battle Royale games in the world, and it shows. It has everything from crossovers with other major game franchises to its own branded peripherals. You can play it on pretty much every gaming device with the exception of iOS and Android due to an ongoing lawsuit -- and now, it's been revealed that it won't be available to play on the Steam Deck, either.
Why a Fortnite Steam Deck Version is Unlikely -- For Now
A Fortnite Steam Deck version won't be coming out anytime soon, at least according to recent tweets from Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney (via ResetEra). Although he says that efforts to "maximize Easy Anti Cheat compatibility with Steam Deck" is ongoing, Fortnite is unlikely to arrive on Valve's handheld gaming PC in the near future.
"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 on Twitter.
"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," he added in a follow-up tweet responding to the discussion. "Hence anti-cheat which suffices for one game may not for another game with 10, 100, or 1000 times more players."
The Steam Deck runs on a modified version of Linux, and that can be a problem when it comes to anti-cheat systems -- many of these systems don't work well on Linux and its derivatives (if they work at all). That's precisely why Valve has been working to improve anti-cheat systems over the last year; Valve most recently revealed that major multiplayer games like DayZ and Unturned will be supported at launch.
What's particularly interesting about Sweeney's statement is that Fortnite uses both Easy Anti-Cheat and BattlEye, both of which are getting better support for Linux thanks to Valve's efforts. Furthermore, Epic Games has undertaken its own efforts to expand anti-cheat to Linux.
Based on that information, it seems that there wouldn't be any technical concerns for getting a Fortnite Steam Deck version working. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that we'll be getting it anytime soon. For now, the only way you'll be able to play Fortnite on the go is on the Nintendo Switch or by sideloading it onto an Android device -- you can play Fortnite for free on PC, consoles, and Android via its official website.
Would you want to play a Fortnite Steam Deck version? What's your preferred platform for playing the game? Let us know in the comments below!