Epic Games has announced its new suite of programs to help facilitate online games. The suite is simply called Online Services, and it's already been used in Fortnite. It's completely free and can be added onto any engine and any platform, and it can be used in games sold on any store.
The idea behind Online Services is to make cross-platform more of a reality. Using Fortnite as an example, you can manage your player account from any platform. Epic wants to make this service more public, so other developers can use it as a backbone for more games. Essentially, they want to bring Fortnite's cross-platform systems to more games.
Online Services also offers more specific player analytics, letting developers see how players play their games. Epic stressed that they won't have any access to this data, despite the fact that they made the service. The only people who would have access to that data are the developers who built their games with the service.
Additionally, this feed of player data fits into a new ticketing system, where flags will show up when a player runs into an issue. In an ideal world, this allows developers to fix problems before they are reported. While some may worry about privacy issues, Epic stressed that all of these services are meant to improve the gaming experience, benefiting gamers as well as developers.
The SDK will be available soon, and it remains free. Through this, Epic hopes to start a wider conversation about online gaming in general. The presenter also asked other developers to reach out with any questions and concerns, creating an open-source-like environment.
Are you a developer? What are your thoughts on Epic Games making its Online Services free? Why would or wouldn't you use it in your games? Let us know in the comments below.