Epic Games has launched a new crossplay tool for game developers. The first in a series of "plug-and-play crossplay services," Crossplay for PC is the first step in Epic Games' efforts to help developers port their games to multiple storefronts. What this will ultimately mean for gamers is that the ability to play with friends who own different releases of the same games will become more common.
Presumably Epic Games will bring its Epic Online Services crossplay to other platforms in the future. The crossplay service currently works seamlessly on Steam and Epic Games Store, with an overlay that merges the two stores' friends list into a single one, allowing gamers to search for friends, send and receive friend requests, and join multiplayer games across stores.
The new Crossplay for PC tool includes features that make it easier for developers to create a seamless crossplay experience, such as plug-and-play SDK – a toolset that allows developers to implement the services they choose and leave the rest.
Developers looking to get started with Crossplay for PC can download Epic Online Services SDK 1.15 configure it in the developer portal at dev.epicgames.com.
This is an exciting new tool not only for game developers, but also for those who love playing online multiplayer with friends. Senior Director of Online Services at Epic Games Simon Allaeys says of the new tool:
"Crossplay gives all friends the opportunity to come together and create fond memories across interactive experiences. We are in the fortunate position to drive change in the industry with crossplay tools for all developers and we believe that connecting friends and communities will take the gaming industry to its next major growth spurt and its next billion players.”