Walmart had a ‘promising, open ecosystem’ cloud-gaming service ‘Project Storm’ playable on smartphones with a cheap controller attachment clip

Walmart Project Storm Cloud Gaming
Walmart retail cloud gaming? Pic credit: Jimaro Morales/Pixabay

Walmart was actively developing a cloud-based gaming service that could rival Google Stadia, GeForce Now, and Microsoft xCloud, called ‘Project Storm’. The ongoing court battle between EPIC Games and Apple Inc. has revealed the retail giant was planning to sell a ‘crazy’ cheap controller attachment clip as well.

Several confidential emails, currently a part of the ongoing EPIC Games Vs. Apple Inc. case has revealed that Walmart was deep into the development of a cloud gaming service, codenamed ‘Project Storm’. The retail giant apparently wanted to offer Fortnite and hence, had pitched the idea to EPIC Games.

Walmart Project Storm cloud-gaming service details:

An exhibit in the Epic Games v. Apple trial has revealed Walmart’s efforts to pitch its cloud gaming service to EPIC Games and get Fortnite on board. Speaking about the experience, EPIC Games co-founder Mark Rein said in an email thread from April 2019:

“I played Walmart’s demo on an Android phone (with an Xbox controller) and the experience felt like playing on PS4 and superior to playing on Android or iOS.”

Rein also shared a photo of a “gaming clip” with the rest of the EPIC Games executive team. He mentioned Walmart was planning to sell this clip to attach a controller to a smartphone. “They’re going to sell the clip for a crazy low amount, they were saying something like $2,” indicated Rein.

It seems EPIC Games is not the only company Walmart approached. The retail giant has reportedly approached quite a few game publishers for its virtual marketplace.

It seems Walmart was planning to offer the service for Windows 10 desktop PCs, and quite possibly, Android and iOS smartphones. On the Windows 10 OS, Walmart would work with third-party game launchers like Steam, Uplay, Origin, Epic Games Store, Battle.net, and Bethesda Launcher.

When will Walmart launch its own cloud gaming service?

Walmart seems to have taken a mixed approach to cloud gaming services. It seems the company wanted an “open ecosystem”.

It basically means Walmart was reportedly open to the idea of offering streaming as well as a local install. In other words, subscribers could stream their games or gaming session from the Walmart Project Storm cloud. Alternatively, they could simply download the entire game, install the same on their supported devices, and play.

LiquidSky, a service Walmart had acquired, was supposed to be the main backend for Project Storm. The company essentially relied on IBM Cloud’s physical servers and NVIDIA GPUs. The service seemed to be going after cloud gaming for PC owners running Windows 10 before Walmart’s acquistion.

An open ecosystem for cloud gaming might seem odd. However, Walmart is a brick-and-mortar store going after the highly lucrative gaming marketplace. Hence, the retail giant may have envisioned a multi-outlet and service-based gaming platform.

Some publishers and developers had reportedly signed up to produce or host games on Walmart’s service. However, Walmart seems to have hit the pause button. Needless to mention, the ongoing situation may have worked in favor of Walmart.

Incidentally, EPIC Games has partnered with NVIDIA. As a result, Fortnite is available on GeForce Now. Interestingly, Apple iPhone owners can rely on such services to play multiple games on iOS.

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