Epic will release a free series of tools designed to help developers create cross-platform experiences.
“At Epic, our goal is to help game developers succeed,” reads a post on the Epic website. “Throughout 2019, we’ll 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. These services will be free for all developers, and will be open to all engines, all platforms, and all stores. As a developer, you’re free to choose mix-and-match solutions from Epic and others as you wish.”
The biggest takeaway from the company’s statement is that developers will not be forced to use the Unreal Engine or other Epic technology in order to take advantage of these tools. Instead, they are making them available, free of charge, to all studios, for all platforms, and across all engines. That’s a rather generous offer. As Epic also points out, these tools are hardly new and have been tested by millions of Fortnite players.
We do have a few questions about this program, though. First off, we assume that these tools are not updated for next-gen technology which would also mean that they may need to be updated once those platforms are released. That would also assume that Microsoft and Sony are going to support cross-play for their next-gen consoles. That seems like a likely assumption considering that Microsoft has long supported the technology and that Sony recently started supporting that feature after a great deal of controversy (minus a few hurdles along the way).
Why would Epic do this? Well, it’s certainly possible that it’s because they see the benefits of promoting a cross-platform future considering how much that feature has contributed to the success of Fortnite, but we do believe that they are genuinely interested in seeing more games embrace this feature as a standard.
Whether or not it becomes a standard remains to be seen.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.