Epic wants to help other games go cross-platform

It built its services for Fortnite, but will make the platform free to all developers.

Image via Epic Games

Fortnite developer Epic Games will share its cross-platform game services, originally built for Fortnite, for free for any developer that wants to use it.

Epic will release the services throughout 2019 to anyone that wants it, open to all engines, platforms, and stores. This encompasses cross-platform login services and profiles, overlays, cross-platform voice communication, matchmaking, data storage, and achievements. A full list and 2019 roadmap is available on Epic’s Unreal Engine site. The first roll out will begin in the second- or third-quarters of 2019—cross-platform login, friends, presence, profile, and entitlements systems for PC, with other platforms coming later in 2019.

The rest of the services are spread out across the year.

“Successfully launching and operating a live, online game requires a suite of services that go far beyond the functionality of a traditional game engine,” Epic said in a statement posted to the Unreal Engine blog. “These services are expensive to build, test and harden in real-world conditions, but once operational, are relatively inexpensive to scale to more games and more users.”

More information on the services will be available in the coming months.
Fortnite’s cross-platform play has broken through barriers other developers have not been able to even puncture—specifically, Sony’s PlayStation 4. Sony has been notoriously strict with its cross-platform play options, despite other consoles allowing its players to blur platform boundaries. Fortnite is the first game that’s allowed PlayStation 4 players to play with folks on Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch.