Epic Games' Dana Cowley took to Twitter today to announce some pretty big news for cross-platform support.
Epic's upcoming cross-platform online services built for Fortnite will be coming to game developers on all engines, all platforms, and all stores. The news was announced via blog post on the official Unreal Engine website, penned by the Epic Games Staff.
In 2019 Epic will launch cross-platform online services built for Fortnite to game developers on all engines, all platforms & all stores:https://t.co/YmOLWySfDm— Dana Cowley (@danacowley) December 12, 2018
The note states that, throughout 2019, the team will be launching a "large set" of cross-platform game services originally built for Fortnite and "battle-tested with 200,000,000 players across 7 platforms." They'll be free for developers, and will be open to every platform user who chooses to utilize it. You can mix and match solutions Epic provides as well as those from other developers as you choose.
The platform will launch with a core set of features, including the following:
- Cross-Platform Login, Friends, Presence, Profile, and Entitlements (coming Q2-Q3 2019 to PC, other platforms throughout 2019): 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 7 major platforms (PC, Mac, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch) to the full extent each platform allows per-title.
- PC/Mac Overlay API (coming Q3 2019): Provides a user interface for login, friends, and other features in a game-agnostic, engine-agnostic way.
- Cross-Platform Voice Comms (coming Q3 2019 to all platforms): Epic is building a new in-game voice communications service supporting all platforms, all stores, and all engines, which will be available for free. (For developers needing an immediately-available voice solution, check out Discord, Vivox, TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, and Mumble.)
- Cross-Platform Parties and Matchmaking (coming Q3-4 2019 to all platforms)
Cross-Platform Data Storage, Cloud-Saved Games (coming Q2 2019)
Cross-Platform Achievements and Trophies (coming Q3 2019)
As Epic Games describes it, the features above are only the "first steps" for the program. Support is currently being worked on for user-generated content, better social features, anti-cheat measures, and more. There's more information in the works about the upcoming developer resources, but this is a very cool step forward in general for creators and players alike in terms of cross-play support.