epic online services

Epic Online Services launches in full and for free to ALL developers

Alongside Unveiling Unreal Engine 5, Epic today announced that it has released the fully-fledged version of Epic Online Services, for free, for all developers.

The services, which were built originally for Fortnite and launched across seven major platforms, include friends, matchmaking, lobbies, achievements, leaderboards, and accounts, and are now available for free in a simple multiplatform SDK. Previous to today only game analytics and customer service tools were available. 

Included at launch are two suites of services: Game Services and Epic Account Services—which include cross-play, cross-progression, and other preeminent online features—developers can now facilitate greater engagement by enabling players to connect with their friends without platform boundaries

Epic’s Online services can be merged together with your own account services, platform accounts, or Epic Games accounts, which reach the world’s largest social graph with over 350 million players and their 2.2 billion friend connections across half a billion devices.

Speaking to MCV/DEVELOP as part of our wide-ranging interview about the new engine (more here and here), Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney explained the motivation behind the decision:

“Our goal since the very early days has been to connect all the players across all the platforms,” said Sweeney. “We pioneered this in Fortnite, which was first to connect Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, Apple and Google devices and enable everybody to play together. 

“We’ve taken that entire stack of online technologies, and we’re opening it up to our developers. Including kind of the nuts and bolts game services like matchmaking and data storage, but also the account system and the friends graph that we built for Fortnite with more than 350 million players across seven platforms. More than 2.2 billion social connections are now open for everybody. 

“You can piggyback on all of Epic’s efforts to build up this multi-platform audience, and then contribute back to it by using it in your game and having your players add their friends to it. 

“And everybody benefits together by building up this non walled garden version of the things that have existed on each platform, and on Steam in a locked down way in the past.

“So we’re opening all that up to all developers for free, and this kind of sets the spirit for our efforts in the next generation. We’re working to serve all our developers and to help them achieve what we’ve achieved with our games. And to help them do that really productively and effectively.”

We have more on what Epic is doing both for developers and over the next generation, as well as news that Epic is raising the royalty-free limit for Unreal developers to the first $1 million in gross revenue.


About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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