At the very least, Epic’s co-founder Mark Rein clearly liked the service, judging by the 2019 email thread. He played a demo on an Android phone using an Xbox controller and said it was just like playing on a PlayStation 4 and was a superior alternative to playing on an Android or iOS device. Walmart also planned to sell a clip that would let a phone connect to a controller, with Rein saying it would go for as low as like $2. Apparently, there was supposed to be a beta period that would’ve launched in July 2019, with some developers and publishers having agreed to produce or host games for the service. However, that obviously never happened and, while it’s not clear when Walmart planned to officially launch the service, the launch was put on hold anyway thanks to the coronavirus pandemic that began last year. It’s not even known if Walmart still plans to go through with it and the company didn’t respond to The Verge when it asked for a comment. Walmart isn’t the only company to have some of its confidential materials leaked by the trial. Naturally, some of Epic’s behind-the-scenes plans have been revealed early, as well as documents that reveal that Epic has to pay Sony for enabling cross-play for its games.
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Epic wasn’t the only publisher Walmart had been pitching to and a presentation included with the emails shows that the plan was to run Project Storm on Windows, with support for various other third-party launchers like Steam, EA’s Origin, and Blizzard’s Battle.net. It would offer a “local ecosystem” to allow users to either stream games from the cloud or download them to play locally. However, this hasn’t been officially announced by Walmart. It is instead another leak to come out from the Epic Games vs Apple trial that is taking place in court. According to The Verge, an exhibit in the trial shows confidential emails between Walmart and Epic, as Walmart was pitching the service, codenamed Project Storm, to try and put Fortnite on it.
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