Epic Games, who is the developer of Fortnite, has made an official announcement on the 12th of December, 2018 about its SDK release for cross-platform profiles. This framework would basically let other game developers add cross-platform support into their games. The SDK will be free and roll out in multiple parts over 2019.
Here’s more about the news.
Insight on Fortnite and the news –
Fortnite has been one of the best examples of cross-platform game-play. A single player can install Fortnite on a console, a PC and a phone and find their profile on all platforms. Many games support multiplayer matches between players on multiple platforms; but very few games “port” your profile from one platform to another.
As TechCrunch says, probably that’s why Epic Games wants to make that easier. The SDK will work with all game engines (not just Unreal Engine) and support many identification methods (Facebook, Google, Xbox Live, PSN, Nintendo accounts and Epic accounts).
Advantages of this SDK release –
After you sign up, you can customize your profile, add friends and win items. Everything you do on one platform shows up on another. User data is stored in the cloud and you can track achievements across platforms.
And of course, you can create parties with players on different platforms and start playing together. Epic has also developed its own voice communications service.
This is an intriguing move. It sounds like Epic wants to control your video game identity. The company could also potentially get a lot of insights on user habits even if they’re playing non-Epic games. Probably that’s why Rocket League was waiting for this SDK to roll out cross-platform ID.
The announcement made by Epic Games –
“Successfully launching and operating a live, online game requires a suite of services that go far beyond the functionality of a traditional game engine. These services are expensive to build, test and harden in real-world conditions, but once operational, are relatively inexpensive to scale to more games and more users.
At Epic, our goal is to help game developers succeed. Throughout 2019, we’ll be launching a large set of cross-platform game services originally built for Fortnite; and battle-tested with 200,000,000 players across 7 platforms. These services will be free for all developers, and will be open to all engines, all platforms, and all stores. As a developer, you’re free to choose mix-and-match solutions from Epic and others as you wish.”
– Epic Games Staff
Note: All services will be operated in a privacy-friendly, GDPR-compliant manner.
Epic’s Online Services
The service launch will begin with a C SDK encapsulating our online services, together with Unreal Engine and Unity integrations. We’ll start with a core set of features and expand over time. Specifically:
- 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)
The services described above are just our first steps. As you can see from our game and engine efforts, we’re also working on further support for user-generated content, enhanced social features, anti-cheat, and more.
We operate our services primarily on Amazon Web Services data centers throughout the world to bring the high reliability and wide international reach required by the next generation of online and socially-connected games.
We connect developers and players across all platforms, and respect existing platform relationships and player accounts. For example, 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.
Stay tuned for more information over the next few months.