Another day, another big story from North Carolina-based Epic Games.
The firm has announced that will be releasing the cross-platform service that it used to power Fortnite to developers, free of charge.
The middleware and game developer said that this will be rolled out over the course of 2019. It will have integration with Unity and Unreal Engine and primarily be powered by Amazon Web Services.
Cross-platform data storage and cloud saves will launch in Q2 2019. Cross-platform login, friends, presence, profile and entitlements will be launching between Q2 and 3 2019 on PC, with other platforms set to benefit at some point during the year.
The PC and Mac overlay API, cross-platform voice comms and achievements and trophies are set to launch in Q3 2019, with parties and matchmaking rolling out in the second half of 2019.
“Epic has put huge efforts into building services for Fortnite that reach 200 million players across seven platforms," Epic chief Tim Sweeney said.
"Now we’re working to open up these services to all developers on all platforms, all stores, and all engines for free.”
Fortnite has been played by over 200m people since its launch last year, with the battle royale title available across seven different platforms.
With its own storefront and now a service that makes games playable across myriad devices, this definitely looks like Epic trying to launch its own platform to compete with the likes of Microsoft or Sony.
Cross-platform play has been on the agenda for some years now, with Microsoft urging Sony to let Xbox and PlayStation users play together at E3 2016. Several game companies have pointed out that the challenge for Sony was not a technical one, but a business one.
Microsoft and Nintendo announced cross-platform play in June 2018, with Sony allowing it from September. The first title to support this was - you guessed it - Fortnite.