Epic reveals free Fortnite-style multiplayer online services for all devs

The Epic Online Services tool suite that powers the multiplayer hit that is Fortnite is now being made available by Epic Games for free.

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Epic Games powers a lot of gaming experiences across the industry via the Unreal Engine platform and the company is introducing something new to help developers with their titles-in-progress. Epic Online Services is a free set of tools to help create robust multiplayer experiences and the company is unleashing them to developers while GDC 2019 charges forward.

“Building a game is only the beginning for developers," said Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney. "We know from experience that successfully managing and scaling your game requires a robust infrastructure, with numerous back-end services. With Fortnite we are now operating these services at an enormous scale, and we are glad to start opening them up to the game development community at large in order to make it easier for teams of all sizes to succeed."

Epic Online Services multiplayer games tool suite set free GDC 2019

Epic Online Services were initially created to power the hit game Fortnite, but can integrate with any engine, platform, and store. Epic Games originally shared the project in December when detailing the 2019 cross-platform online services roadmap and the service is now officially available for developers. Not only will the Epic Online Services offer developers the things need to create a unified social experience across platforms, but devs will also be able to access game analytics so they can monitor the performance of the game. Here's a look at what's offered in this suite:

  • Game analytics (available now): Store telemetry about your players and their gameplay to understand and boost retention and engagement. Epic’s dashboards help you make data-driven decisions in real time.
  • Ticketing system (available now): Connect directly with players through integrated customer support tools that tie tickets to a player’s profile. Provide high-quality, personalized support by accessing player data from a single dashboard.
  • Player data storage (targeting May 2019): Store and enumerate arbitrary game data on behalf of authorized players.
  • Player reports (targeting May 2019): Allow players to report others for positive or negative in-game behavior. Gain valuable feedback directly from the community.
  • Achievements, leaderboards & stats (targeting September 2019): Keep track of individual and global player statistics, award in-game achievements, and rank players on leaderboards.
  • Communications (targeting October 2019): Enable in-game communication between players across any platform.
  • Overlay (targeting October 2019): Provide a unified overlay for friends and other online services that are available to players across different games and engines.
  • Parties (targeting October 2019): Enable players to form groups and play together.
  • Matchmaking (targeting November 2019): Set up game matches for individual players or predetermined groups.
  • Player identity (targeting December 2019): Enable players to log in and connect with others across different platforms.
  • Player inventory (targeting December 2019): Manage player inventories, including purchases across different game stores.

There's a lot more coming out of the Games Developer Conference, so be sure to keey your eyes on the GDC 2019 landing page to stay informed on all of the coolest happenings.

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