Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, laid out their “Epic 2019 Cross-Platform Online Services Roadmap.” As noted in a post on the Unreal Engine blog, Epic announced what it has in the works for Fortnite for 2019. Epic already released a creator, called Fortnite Creative, that lets players create their own maps. Here’s a look at the major announcements coming for Epic’s online services in 2019:
- 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)
Already, Fortnite is cross-play compatible with Xbox One and PS4, and in turn Microsoft has opened Minecraft to crossplay with Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. Unfortunately, Epic Games will be relying on AWS (Amazon Web Services) to power their cloud services, instead of Microsoft Azure. However, Epic Games promises even more cross-play functionality with connected accounts, including connecting developers and players across all platforms.
“Fortnite runs on 7 platforms that are fully interoperable; the game requires no login on console, and supports multi-platform login via Facebook, Google, Xbox Live, PSN, and Nintendo accounts, in addition to Epic accounts; and supports Twitch account linking. Besides these existing account and service integrations, we’re eager to work with partners on further efforts to connect accounts, gaming services, and cloud services for a more seamless experience.”
Epic Games promises to release new updates on new features as soon as they are available. Stay tuned.