The Epic Cross Platform Roadmap has been released, detailing some upcoming features that the publisher is making available for free to all developers.
The people behind Fortnite and the Unreal Engine recently announced the formation of the Epic Games Store, a digital storefront that will only take a 12% revenue share from developers. Quite a few developers have already signed up; the dungeon-crawler HADES is going to be in early access on the store and Journey will be coming to PC for the first time via the digital distribution platform. Now, Epic Games is taking things a step further with the announcement of several new features for developers that they can use whether they're on the Epic Games Store or not.
The Epic Cross Platform Roadmap details a list of services that are being made available to game developers. To start, it tells us that it will work across seven platforms: PC, Mac, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch. Linux is unfortunately not part of the list, although that may change in the future. Your login, profile, and friends list will work on all seven of these platforms as seamlessly as possible if the game's developer decides to make use of these systems.
Voice communications, parties & matchmaking, data storage, cloud-saved games, and achievements & trophies will all be features that will be made available to developers in the second quarter of 2019 or later, completely for free. Should developers choose to make use of them, they'll be able to take advantage of systems that have been robustly tested on Fortnite - arguably one of the world's most popular games. Additionally, PC and Mac users will be getting an Overlay API that will work in an engine-agnostic and game-agnostic fashion. That is to say, it should work regardless of what game you're playing and what engine the game is based on.
This list of features is pretty much everything one could expect for a modern digital game. Epic is careful to note that this isn't an all-inclusive list - they're quite keen on working with developers to make even more cool stuff available. It will be interesting in particular to see how these things might integrate with Steam, given the Epic Games Store launch as it could allay some complaints or concerns by them working with users on Valve's service. More information about these features will be released in the coming months.
What do you think of the Epic Cross Platform Roadmap? Are there any critical features that you feel are missing? Let us know in the comments below!