As the gaming industry continues to grow, so too does the demand for similar experiences across different platforms. The fact of the matter is that gamers want to be able to play against one another, no matter the platform, and they want their experiences on one platform to "count" on other platforms, as well. As such, many video game companies are putting more investment into cross-play and cross-saves. One such company is Epic Games. The team responsible for Fortnite has officially released Epic Online Services, free for all game developers. The service allows developers access to the same tools that Epic uses for cross-play and cross-saves between the various versions of Fortnite.
In a press release, Chris Dyl spoke about the motivation behind Epic Online Services. Dyl is the general manager of online services for Epic Games.
“At Epic, we believe in open, integrated platforms and in the future of gaming being a highly social and connected experience,” said Dyl. “Through Epic Online Services, we strive to help build a user-friendly ecosystem for both developers and players, where creators can benefit regardless of how they choose to build and publish their games, and where players can play games with their friends and enjoy the same quality experience regardless of the hardware they own.”
Epic Online Services provides developers with a number of different tools to make the experience easier. These include matchmaking, lobbies, leaderboards, and more. Developers are free to use all of the available services, or to pick and choose. Epic Online Services supports Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch. Support for iOS and Android will be added in the future.
For old-school gamers, the concept of cross-play and cross-saves is still a bit surreal, to say the least. During the days of the console wars between Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo, the idea of being able to play the same games with friends, no matter the platform, would have been unthinkable. Now gamers have come to expect cross-play from online games, and cross-saves are becoming equally important to players.
Cross-play does not come without its complications, of course. Online games like Destiny 2, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Valorant have all faced issues with players cheating, and many of those cheaters are PC gamers. As a result, Call of Duty: Warzone players have actually looked for ways to disable cross-play in the game, though it makes match-making nearly impossible.0comments
Despite these potential issues, cross-play and cross-saves could prove to be a huge benefit for the industry. Players get more out of the games that they spend time and money on, while game companies save on the cost of new game development. Epic Games Services could be a big step towards making these standard for the industry as a whole.
Are you a fan of cross-play? Do you want to see cross-play and cross-saves become more prominent in the industry? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!