Epic Games has announced that it's making new multiplayer tools available free of charge to developers. The gaming giant says the anti-cheat and voice chat tools it's offering are the same ones used to power big multiplayer sensations like Fortnite.
What is Epic Games offering to developers?
According Epic, they are now offering voice chat and anti-cheat tools to developers when they use Epic Online Services to power their game. In a press release, Epic said these tools will establish its development base as "an industry leader in backend services". The studio hopes that offering these tools free of charge will entice developers to create more cross-platform games, thereby allowing more gamers to play with their friends on different consoles or on PC.
The Epic Online Services dev kit was originally created for battle royale game Fortnite, but it's since also seen use in multiplayer games like Rocket League, which went free-to-play last year and moved to the Epic Games Store. Epic says its voice service is a "built-in cross-platform solution" that will allow players to chat with their friends on other platforms. The studio also describes its anti-cheat protocol as robust and hardy, stating that it can handle "millions of users" during peak play times.
What will this mean for PC gaming?
Since Epic Games is now offering anti-cheat and voice chat tools free of charge to developers, it's hard not to see this resulting in more studios using Epic Online Services as their development toolkit. The kit also includes matchmaking and leaderboard support, as well as built-in multiplayer lobby functionality, so it's going to look like a very attractive prospect for any studio looking to make a multiplayer title. Combined with the fact that Epic allows developers to use Unreal Engine for free at the point of entry (although fees are eventually payable based on licensing), these new features demonstrate Epic's desire to further strengthen its position in the PC gaming world.
We'll bring you more on Epic and its plans for the future as soon as we get it. In the meantime, expect to see a lot more multiplayer games - especially projects looking to embrace the free-to-play model - on the Epic Games Store.
How do you feel about Epic introducing these new multiplayer tools to developers? Let us know in the comments below!