Epic Wanted Xbox To Remove Xbox Live Requirements For Free Multiplayer Games Last Year
Epic’s trial against Apple has revealed that Epic Games wanted Xbox to remove Xbox Live requirements from free multiplayer titles as early as last year.
According to Kotaku, an email from August 5th between Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney and Xbox Head Phil Spencer shows Sweeney attempting to convince Spencer to drop Xbox Live Gold requirements for free-to-play multiplayer games like Fortnite and Apex Legends. The email itself sounds very corporate but hints at the fact that the idea of subscription-free multiplayer was something Xbox had been considering for quite a while.
“Long ago, we talked optimistically about the possibility of subscription-free multiplayer on Xbox,” says Sweeney. “If this is coming, please consider the possibility of timing the program to support Fortnite Season 14 launch on 8/27.”
Sweeney then goes on to explain how doing so would benefit Xbox as well due to Fortnite’s popularity and the then-upcoming collaboration with Disney/Marvel. In another email, this time from Spencer a day later, he writes “we will get there and I want to partner with you.” Sweeney then follows that email up by telling Spencer to “enjoy the upcoming fireworks show” which we now know is a reference to the launch of Epic’s new payment method which has landed Epic and Apple in court.
It isn’t particularly surprising that Sweeney of all people was in Spencer’s ear about this situation seeing as Fortnite is arguably the most popular free multiplayer game ever made. However, it would take three-quarters of a year and a significant backlash for Xbox to finally join every single other platform holder in not charging subscription fees for free online games. Xbox users can now play free online games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty: Warzone without an Xbox Live subscription.
The Epic vs Apple trial has thrown out some other interesting pieces of news recently, one of which is that PlayStation is the only platform that charges a fee to enable crossplay, and that the Borderlands 3 exclusivity deal was massively successful for the Epic Games Store.
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Joshua Robertson is a News Writer for TheGamer, based in Barnsley, England. When not playing or writing about Pokemon, Yakuza, or Fallout, he can usually be found spending too much time on Twitter @JoshRobertson97.
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