Epic Games’ antitrust lawsuit against Apple went to trial in federal court on Monday. As a result, documents about a potential game streaming service from Walmart have emerged.
Emails between Epic and Walmart detail the unannounced cloud gaming service, known as Project Storm, suggesting it first began life in 2019. The emails are presented as an exhibit in the trial. This news was first reported by The Verge.
In the emails, the service is described as being more powerful than mobile gaming and more akin to playing on a PlayStation 4. Walmart was hoping to offer the service on devices such as smart phones, TVs, and tablets.
“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,” Epic Games co-founder Mark Rein said in an email from April 2019.
Rein also revealed Wal-Mart was planning on selling a special clip to attach controllers to phones. “They’re going to sell the clip for a crazy low amount, they were saying something like $2.”
The emails included a presentation Walmart used to pitch its service to publishers like Epic Games, and revealed Walmart had support from third-party launchers including Steam, Uplay, Origin, Epic Games Store, Battle.net, and Bethesda Launcher.
The service was originally set to launch a beta period in July 2019, which never materialized. According to The Verge, the pandemic put the launch on hold. Walmart has never officially announced the gaming service, and it’s unclear if it will still happen.