The Epic Games Launcher is getting a fully-featured party system to make it easier to play games with your friends and keep in touch even while you're just browsing around.
Epic has been steadily building out the features for its PC storefront and games launcher ever since it went live back in 2018, and the company shared some of its plans for social-related features in particular in a news post this week. While the post briefly touches on much-requested features like adding Achievements and improving the wishlist system, this update is all about the new and improved Social Panel.
Epic eventually wants to let players connect across platforms and play using the Epic Games Store, but in the shorter term, it's focused on making parties a reality for PC players. Epic plans to let players communicate via both voice and text via parties and let players drop in and drop out, with no set owner required to stay online to keep the party going (literally). You'll be able to check your party's status in-game, and you'll also be able to stay in it even if not everybody's playing the same game.
As for when the Epic Games Launcher's party system will go live, we only know that it's part of Epic's plans for 2021. However, it did confirm that new and more informative player cards for the social panel, better friend searching, Do Not Disturb, and a minimized view for social notifications are all on the way this month.
Epic isn't just making moves for its game launcher - it also recently revealed its purchase of Fall Guys developer Mediatonic.