Epic has announced that it will making its suite of cross-platform tools, originally created for Fortnite, free for use by all developers, starting next year.
The idea, as you might imagine, is to make cross-platform integration - something Epic has been instrumental in encouraging among platform holders, thanks to the phenomenal success of Fortnite - as easy as possible for all developers.
What's more, these tools won't be restricted to the Unreal Engine or Epic's recently launched store. As Epic's announcement post on the Unreal website explains, its tools are designed to work with all engines, all platforms, and all stores.
"These services are expensive to build, test and harden in real-world conditions", says Epic, noting that 200,000,000 players have tested its tools thanks to Fortnite, "but once operational, [they] are relatively inexpensive to scale to more games and more users."
Epic will be making new features available tools throughout 2019, starting with the likes of cross-platform logins and friends across all supported platforms - PlayStation, Xbox, Switch , PC, Mac, iOS, and Android. Later in the year, it will introduce cross-platform voice comms, parties, matchmaking, data storage, cloud saves, achievements and trophies, and more.
Support for user-generated content, anti-cheat, and social features are also in the works.
As Eurogamer's Emma Kent discovered earlier this year, many developers are keen to embrace a cross-platform future. Epic's tools could make that easier than ever.