Epic Games has launched a new crossplay tool for game developers. The game publisher, currently battling Google and Apple, says its “Crossplay for PC” platform is the first step in helping developers bring their games to multiple storefronts.
The new Crossplay tool for PC is primarily aimed at developers. It includes features that make it easy to create a seamless crossplay experience. This is possible thanks to the ready-to-deploy or plug-and-play SDK (Software Development Kit). Epic says the platform contains a set of tools that allows developers to quickly and effortlessly implement whatever cross-play services they choose. Everything else needed to provide players with a crossplay experience is handled by the Crossplay PC tool.
Speaking about the new development, Senior Director of Online Services at Epic Games, Simon Allaeys said:
Crossplay gives all friends the opportunity to come together and create great memories through interactive experiences. We have the chance to drive change in the industry with cross-play tools for all developers and believe that connecting friends and communities will take the gaming industry to its next major growth spurt and its next billion dollars. players.
It looks like Epic Games is planning to bring its Epic Online Services crossplay to other platforms in the future. But for now, the crossplay service works on Steam and Epic Games Store.
The player-facing part of the service essentially has an overlay that merges the friend lists from both stores into one. This means players in either storefront can search for their friends. Players can send and receive friend requests and join multiplayer games in both stores.
Some of the highlights of the Crossplay services are:
All friends, one place: Steam and Epic Games Store friends merge into one overlay allowing players to see all of their friends in one list.
Built-in game prompts: In-game, players can search and send friend invites on Steam and Epic Games Store, making it easy to connect and play together.
Account link: Integration without e-mail or password request. With just a few clicks, Steam gamers can jump into a game while an Epic Games account is created under the hood for their Steam account.
Improvements without update: When games are installed, crossplay functionality is distributed via an auto-updating in-game overlay. Players can enjoy new features and improvements without needing to update anything themselves.
Ready-to-use SDK: Each Epic Online Services toolset is self-contained, so developers can mix and match the services they want to implement, incorporate the elements they want, and leave the rest. Crossplay tools are no different.
Developers can download Epic Online Services SDK 1.15 and configure it in the Developer Portal at dev.epicgames.com.
Cross-platform play has come a long way. However, game publishers and tech giants owning and operating their own storefronts have caused fragmentation. Epic Games seems to be trying to help players join their friends in a game session without forcing additional purchases of the same game.