Epic Games announces cross-play developer tools for 2019
Epic Games is launching another endeavor.
Epic Games has found a lot of success lately in the free-to-play business. The company just announced the Epic Games Store and even managed to get a lot of developers with exclusive agreements. Now, it seems like the publisher wants to tackle cross-play with a unified system. Today, Epic Games announced its cross-platform online services roadmap.
The main features are listed below as their pertain to console platforms.
- Cross-Platform Login, Friends, Presence, Profile, and Entitlements: Provides the core functionality for persistently recognizing players across multiple sessions and devices, identifying friends, and managing free and paid item entitlements. This will support all seven major platforms like PC, Xbox, iOS, Nintendo Switch, and more.
- Cross-Platform Voice: The team is building a new in-game voice communications service supporting all platforms, all stores, and all engines, which will be available for free.
- Cross-Platform Parties and Matchmaking
- Cross-Platform Data Storage and Cloud-Saved Games
- Cross-Platform Achievements and Trophies
A lot of these features should be available towards the end of 2019. It'll be interesting to see if these development tools are adopted by the gaming industry. Only time will tell.
For those of you who don't know, Fortnite is a free-to-play third-person shooter with building mechanics. The title has become a cultural sensation due to its unique blend of expressive gameplay. Back in February 2018, Epic Games stated that the title was played by roughly 3.4 million gamers concurrently. Since then, that figure has ballooned to 8.3 million. Considering that there are so many players, the revenue generated from people buying the campaign and microtransactions is significant to say the least.
See Fortnite at Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)
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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.
As for now, in order for your game to support cross-play... you will have to leave PS4 behind like what Stranger Things 3 - The Game did. Or, have another build just for PS4.
It's a great move to bring gamers together just so they can (virtually) kill each other, and mine tons of player data!
This is smart because it is not only good for the consumer (us) but also intices more developers to use the Unreal Engine for their game development. That equals a lot of $$$ for Epic and could set them up to be the dominant game engine for the next generation console cycle.
By Jez Corden