The same tools that Fortnite uses for crossplay are now free for all developers to use as part of Epic Online Services.
Along with the official announcement of Unreal Engine 5 (opens in new tab) today, Epic revealed that it had finally launched the full version of the services, with support for PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac. Support for iOS and Android platforms is due to launch at a later date. Epic Games has already offered developers a limited form of Epic Online Services for months, featuring ready-made analytics and ticketing systems.
On the player side, we tend to tend to think about online services for games when they break. Making it all function requires a ton of work behind the scenes, and that complexity is multiplied for crossplay across multiple networks, each with their own architecture and requirements. By opening Epic Online Services up for free, Epic will take a lot of the work off of other developers' plates (while also making them more inclined to use further Epic services). That goes for small indie studios to much bigger operations.
Epic Online Services supports matchmaking, in-game communication, achievements, leaderboards, parties, and more. Developers who want to give it a try can head to Epic Games' official site (opens in new tab)and sign up to download the SDK. Even developers using alternatives to Unreal Engine such as Unity will be able to use the services - though the company is now courting game makers even harder by waiving all royalties on the first $1 million in game revenue for each title made with Unreal Engine.
Make sure you're ready for the bright cross-platform future with our guide on how to enable cross-platform Fortnite matches (opens in new tab).