Fortnite creator Epic Games is offering the technology that powers the game’s cross-platform functionality as an unpaid service to help other developers with their games.
Writing in a post on its Unreal Engine blog, the studio behind the immensely popular game is offering developer tools allowing multiple synchronized versions of the game, voice communication and matchmaking over different consoles and computers.
Epic boasts that these functions have been thoroughly tested over seven platforms with 2 billion players thanks to the success of Fortnite, and that these tools will be open for use with all engines and platforms, and are even GDPR compliant.
The blog post lays out its plans to bring the features mentioned above, and more, including PC/Mac overlay interfaces, cloud saving and achievements between Q2 and Q3 2019, with more unnamed features apparently in the works for the future.
Epic already has experience with giving developers a leg-up with specially designed editors. Its Unreal Engine, launched in 2004 and now on its fourth generation, has helped game designers make countless 3D games with a framework it originally built for its Unreal Tournament series.
Combined with the launch of the Epic Store last week, a digital storefront which gives a fairer cut of profits to developers, the company is set to become a gaming superpower comparable to Steam storefront and developer tools and Source Engine developers Valve, all thanks to its free-to-play battle royale game.
The power isn’t theoretical either, as it was thanks to Fortnite and its large vocal fanbase on Playstation 4 that convinced Sony to change its long-standing policy against cross-platform gaming in Sept. 2018. It’s a level of influence that many game studios would kill for, and luckily for them, Epic Games is willing to pull back the curtain and show them some of the secrets for no charge.