Epic Games Store to introduce party system, improve social features

Is this the future of social?

Image via Epic Games

The Epic Games Store is aiming to become a one-stop social hub for its users by providing text and voice chat across platforms.

Epic shared its plans for its digital storefront in a blog post yesterday. While improved social features such as player cards, improved search for the Social Panel, and the addition of a Do Not Disturb mode will be added in the coming month, a seamless party mode looks to be the Store’s next big improvement.

The party system will group players together regardless of whether they are in-game, with controls shared among all members. No host is required to start a party, so disbandment won’t be an issue no matter who goes offline. The new Party Window will also have In-Game Party Representation, showing a simplified view of member status and activity.

The Whispers feature will also be vaulted for the time being, since it hasn’t reached widespread usage. Epic hopes to revive it in the future with “improved functionality” for messaging.

“We’ll continue to improve existing features while building out new ones,” Epic wrote. More information can new and upcoming features can be found on the Epic Games Store official Trello roadmap.

With free platforms like Discord growing at an immense rate and allowing users to circumvent platforms altogether, it remains to be seen if the Epic Store’s solution will be an attractive one for gamers. If it’s lightweight and non-intrusive, it’s possible that users will adopt it—especially if Epic keeps giving out free games.