Fortnite doesn’t natively support VR headsets, however an update coming to the popular battle royale shooter today reportedly holds mention of Oculus, possibly pointing to future VR support for the game.

Update 21.50, the game’s fifth and final update to Season 3, is rolling out today, and it seems data miner and itinerant Fortnite leaker HYPEX has gotten a look under the hood, maintaining that Epic has added “stuff related to Oculus.”

We haven’t been able to independently verify this, however HYPEX, who is known in the community as a reliable leaker, surmises this could point to VR support being added at some point in the future.

If Fortnite can manage the go native on the Quest platform like HYPEX’s tweet suggests, it’s a pretty big deal. Fortnite on Quest 2 would not only stand a chance at eclipsing its largest VR-supported competitors Roblox and Minecraft, but also offer up competition to multiplayer VR experiences and games like Meta’s Horizon platform, Rec Room, VRChat, and Population: One (2020). In short, Fortnite getting on Quest could make it one of the most popular VR games there overnight.

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Of course, there’s the matter of shoehorning the large-scale multiplayer shooter onto Quest 2’s modest Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor, which is a challenge in its own right. Still, Epic Games has been a big proponent of VR since the launch the original Oculus Rift in 2016, having pioneered VR support for its Unreal Engine whilst putting out one of the slickest VR arcade shooters to this day, Robo Recall (2016). It basically wrote the book on optimizing games for VR headsets, and is a founding member of the OpenXR initiative, an open standard for VR/AR app development.

In more recent years however the company has focused on building its own Epic Games Store distribution channel and pushing Fortnite way past its original conception point as a free battle royale shooter. It now includes multiple game modes, a creative sandbox mode, and regularly hosts live events such as concerts and special in-game events.

Earlier this year Epic secured a $2 billion investment to stoke its metaverse ambitions, something CEO and founder of Epic Tim Sweeney said at the time would “accelerate our work to build the metaverse and create spaces where players can have fun with friends, brands can build creative and immersive experiences and creators can build a community and thrive.”

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  • Ad

    This would make basically no sense whatsoever. It’s probably just residue from UE5 development.

    • kontis

      It’s probably just residue from UE5 development.

      This is a good hypothesis as some Oculus files are in many pancake UE games, because they are added by default.

      • bluetoothbday

        he have a point that quest 2 is still small for fortnite even if it sold 17 millions, playstation base is 140 millions 4+5, xbox have 50 millions active user, mobile have billions, why make anything for few millions active users in vr.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Because starting to support it now makes it easier for the near future when/if VR becomes more popular with newer headsets which will be mostly based on ARM/mobile socs anyway.

      • Ad

        I’m saying that PCVR is too small, and Quest is too closed down and controlled by another company/app store. Not to mention needing to make the full suite of interactions both usable and competitive, and then making all features work on VR going forward. Tim has made clear that he doesn’t think you need XR for a metaverse, he doesn’t care about putting his metaverse in VR until well after it’s settled technology (completely open and not dominated by any single platform) which it won’t be for years.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        I went on a hunt for additional confirmation, coming up empty with all sources referencing HYPEX. But one result was that HYPEX is actually a very respected Fortnite data miner with a history of correct predictions based on similar analysis, who should be able to distinguish some old or standard code from added functionality.

        Adding that the references only showed up in the 21.50 update, that HYPEX never said that what was found was just some Oculus files, but instead went for “Most likely proper VR support in the future..”, Epic’s metaverse ambitions and Sony’s heavy Fortnite engagement means the discovery of anything VR related in Fortnite shouldn’t be just instantly dismissed as “someone found some old, unrelated stuff”.

    • Why does it make basically no sense whatsoever?

    • bluetoothbday

      i agree the tweet don’t specify if it specifically talk about quest 2 or just the word oculus which was found in many other flat games source code that never port to vr.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Especially since Meta is transitioning all Oculus terms to Meta.

    • Starkium

      oculus files are being deprecated in newer UE5 builds as they are being moved from engine plugins to independent subsystem modules. Likely is just residue.

      I’d be happy to see they’re making an attempt at vr though as their mobile rendering pipeline is very heavy compared to unity. So that’d be good for everyone if they were making a solid attempt.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Maybe they incorporated the changes the developers of Red matter 2 made to the UE.

  • kontis

    A few thoughts on this (assuming the support is actual planned and it isn’t a misunderstanding due to some leftover files):

    1. Fortnite is being slowly transitioned into a Metaverse sandbox app with the shooting game mode only one part of the ecosystem. This means the battle royale part may not necessarily be supported in VR and they are thinking about creativity and the social mode.

    2. Sweeney is not gonna like giving Zuck 30% and even Applab doesn’t allow tax avoidance, so I wonder if they play to use that pseudo-sideloading workaround…

    His comment on Quest was this:

    Bleh, a closed platform attempt around VR.

    While I agree that closed hardware platforms are “bleh” (anti-consumer, anti-liberal), but he loves Playstation, so it makes no sense…

    • Tommy

      Technically, 30% of a free to play game is $0. Does Meta also get 30% of in-game purchases?

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        Yes, which is the sole reason Epic started the whole rumble with Apple and Google. They added their own in-game store that circumvented the official stores, which was a brazen break of the license terms from Apple’s and Google’s point of view, one that would inevitable lead to Epic being banned from their stores. Which is very obviously what Epic intended, so they could go to court over the whole issue and get rid of the forced 30% fee forever that way. There were several attempts from Apple and Google to settle this by e.g. offering Epic special terms, but Epic wanted to escalate it.

        So it is very unlikely that Epic would be willing to pay a large part of their revenue to Meta, which managed to demand even higher stacked percentage from Horizon World creators, who have to pay an additional Horizon fee on top of the 30% Meta fee. But AFAIK the Meta EULAs that allow SideQuest to offer apps not available on App Lab would allow something that isn’t possible at all on the Apple App store and difficult on the Google Play store: a completely parallel distribution and payment infrastructure independent of Meta.

        This is something they tried on Android, with offering Fortnite via a separate store, asking users to disable some app source security restrictions, but on phones there is very little acceptance for this in Western countries. On the Quest sideloading is well established, even if the majority of users will stick to the official store, and SideQuest preceded App Lab and is officially tolerated by Meta. If Epic actually released a port of the extremely popular Fortnite for Quest, this would easily be catapulted to (one of) the most popular VR games, even if it required a separate installer or if they cooperated with SideQuestVR for mutual benefit.

        It might even help their argument in court against Apple and Google if they can demonstrate that they are able to provide extra services on a platform where they aren’t restricted by the platform owners, because a lot of their arguments for locking down their store/platform is that the users benefit from more security and better software and services. Epic would also have the money to pay for an Fortnite port just to make a point, they don’t need to make any money from it, in-game sales in Fortnite brought in 5.8bn in revenue last year. Establishing themselves as a metaverse player might just be a nice side effect.

        • Tommy

          Will be interesting to see how this plays out. Like others have said, could be just useless UE code that is found in other games.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            I’d usually assume that too, but according to HYPEX this isn’t old code residue, but something that first appeared in the new Fortnite 21.50 update from today.

            This could still be something old that recently found its way into the update because Epic changed or consolidated some of their tools, but it seems to be at least new to Fortnite and not something ancient that has been lingering around for years without being noticed until now.

          • Tommy

            That does seem to sway my opinion then. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if anything comes of it.

          • Wishbringer

            If the code is still using the deprecated “Oculus” brand name it can’t be entirely new. So whatever it is, it’s roots likely go back at least a year. Could be VR code repurposed from the Quest version of Robo Recall.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Not necessarily. The names used in software development are a lot more stable to keep things compatible. Every function of the Meta Mobile SDK still starts with “OVR.” for Oculus VR, the original company name that hasn’t been in use since 2014, and it will stay that way until they have completely replaced it with OpenXR. The Mobile SDK had been in “compatibility” mode for the last year and was deprecated just yesterday on 2022-08-31, meaning all new functionality will now go to OpenXR, but the old library will still be in use for years in existing apps, and with it the name Oculus.

            There are even more extreme cases. The root class for all Objective-C objects on MacOS, iOS etc. in 2022 and so most likely for Apple’s AR realityOS in 2023 is still NSObject, short for NeXTSTEP Object. NeXTSTEP was the 1988 OS by NeXT which was bought by Apple in 1996 and later turned into MacOS X. They haven’t used the NeXT brand for 26 years, yet it is still all over the development documentation and libraries.

            We also don’t know if HYPEX actually found the world Oculus, the tweet just says “added stuff related to Oculus (Quest, Quest 2 & Mobile)”, which could even be some OpenXR with the Oculus/Quest reference only made in the tweet so people understand what this is about. So far there has been no followup adding more details, keeping everything extremely speculative.

    • Sweeney’s worth $8B: he can well afford the Quest Tax.
      And Meta is most certainly NOT “desperate”. lolol

      • Kizna von Löwe

        And he is quiet poor compared to the company that stands behind Epic: Tencent.

        • NL_VR

          Tim Sweeney is majority owner of Epic Games.

  • Tommy

    I though the Quest 2 was only for 13+…

  • Tommy

    *Off topic:
    New analysis says the AR/VR industry will be worth $365 Billion by 2030. I only mention because most sites only report game info.

    • bluetoothbday

      this is pure utter grabage, video gaming industry and movie industry dont make that much in revenue, they have billions of users so unless every vr users will have to spend 10,000$ per year on vr this make no sense, those report are just market research agency selling crap data to naive investment fund. i work in stock market i read them all the time.

      • Been looking at Genentech: should I dive in …??

      • Kizna von Löwe

        You forgot the Military and companies. They too use AR/VR. And i can tell you that a car maker for example, happily buys hundred or more headsets where one is between 3000 and 12000. And the military even happily spends half a million on full motion simulators, and buys a couple of them.

        Because I’m both cases it saves them a lot of money.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        Gaming generated USD 180bn revenue in 2021, streaming USD 86bn, box office USD 21bn, for a total of USD 287bn. Add 3% yearly inflation and they would be at USD 374bn in 2030. The 2030 USD 365bn AR/VR estimate seems to come from Astute Analytica, which assume that a lot of the revenue will come from enterprise application, with an estimated 72% of all enterprises using AR internally by 2030 and 60% using AR/VR for B2C. For gaming they also include phone based AR like Pokemon Go, which alone passed USD 6bn in lifetime revenue just a few weeks ago, or about six times of what all Quest apps and games combined had generated by 2022-02 according to Meta.

        The numbers would be pure garbage if they were referring to VR and gaming only, but they don’t. Their predictions are explicitly about AR and VR, with VR only playing a small role. What they are basing it on is very fuzzy, and it seems wildly optimistic, but esp. their assumptions about wide spread enterprise use can make a big difference. Just imagine every Amazon worker using a tablet or simple smart glasses that show a packing list for each package they look at without opening it. Even the tablet version would qualify as an enterprise AR application for this 2030 projection, the app could be actually useful and rather simple to implement today. And there is a lot of money in anything that improves productivity for businesses. Not saying that I believe the numbers, but without doubt they become a lot more realistic if they are based on a very broad definition of AR/VR usage.

        • bluetoothbday

          willing to bet on it i bet you 1000usd by 2030 xr will be nowhere near that amount, im willing to sign legal documents.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            How do you intend to make a bet on something that is completely fuzzy? You’d first have to define what exactly counts as AR/VR market, and your first attempt has already failed as you interpreted it pretty much only as VR gaming, ignoring what the 2030 predictions by Astute Analytica actually said. Indicating that you didn’t bother reading their predictions before declaring them “pure utter garbage” based only on Tommy’s one-liner.

            Free advice: if you find someone that wants to make a USD 1000 bet about some non specific market state eight years in the future with random strangers on the internet and are about to sign legal papers, read them first.

            What they are basing it on is very fuzzy, and it seems wildly optimistic, [..] Not saying that I believe the numbers, but without doubt they become a lot more realistic if they are based on a very broad definition of AR/VR usage.

            Maybe you didn’t read this either, because it is quite a stretch offering bets to someone who clearly expressed doubts in the numbers. You could impress me more with numbers that actually support your argument instead of trying to give weight to it by proposing nonsensical bets, which is about as believable as your self qualification “i work in stock market i read them all the time.” or some of the rather strange claims you make in other posts.

          • bluetoothbday

            here my exact bet conditions 1000$ to be paid via wire transfer we sign both legal document with online notary service,
            my definition of vr/ar/mr is any head mounted stereoscopic display can be transparent or not(called ar) those are my only condition for a hardware/software revenue to be called XR, i hereby say that by the year 2030/01/01 the very first Q1 earnings calls of all company engaging in such industry (xr) total gross revenue will not exceed 374billion us dollars, any company that engage in xr can be counted as long as their revenue are official and not speculated. i pledge to pay you 1000$ if the combined revenue of all XR industry is above said amount, if it is below 374bn$ you must pay me full amount before end of the year 2030. i live in canada it should be easy to enforce the contract.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Maybe you didn’t read this either, because it is quite a stretch offering bets to someone who clearly expressed doubts in the numbers. You could impress me more with numbers that actually support your argument instead of trying to give weight to it by proposing nonsensical bets

      • Tommy

        I was just reposting and didn’t mention movies or games :)

  • This is probably an even bigger deal for Unreal Engine developers. Epic has neglected VR support for a few years…. but they tend to do big projects where they dog food features into the engine. Hopefully that means what ever work they did to get Fortnite as optimized as possible feed back into UE5!

    • bluetoothbday

      epic games and not fan of vr they kept bashing it for years and still dont give it any legitimate attention today.

      • Andrew Jakobs

        Yeah they kept bashing it for years, that’s why they had VR support for creating levels through VR.

      • MeowMix

        just a reminder that Epic Games created the very awesome Robo Recall game. Even as a 2017 title, it still plays very well today.

  • GX Studio

    Yes, please. I really hope this is something real. I’d play Fortnite in VR happily every night.

  • Well, given Epic’s aim at building the metaverse, this may make totally sense. Also there was a rumor of a possible porting of Roblox, too, so Epic has to be ready to jump on the platform, if needed

  • TechnoHunter

    Dis is a game changer for all gamers! SO HYPED!!!

  • Wishbringer

    Sony has invested hundreds of millions into Epic. Sony is coming out with PSVR2 next year. You might put two-and-two together and imagine Fortnight VR as a PSVR2 launch title, with Quest being an additionally supported platform. Or maybe not.