Technology

Epic Online Services expands free crossplay overlay to consoles


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Advancing cross-platform gaming, Epic Online Services has announced the expansion of its free crossplay overlay from PC to consoles.

This expansion from Epic Games empowers developers to connect their games and communities seamlessly across multiple platforms and storefronts, creating a more inclusive and interconnected gaming experience.

Initially introduced in June 2022 for PC, the crossplay overlay has now been enhanced to support games on Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and Sony PlayStation. The overlay provides a universal solution for player authentication, friend management, game invites, and joinability features, all designed to comply with the requirements of each native platform.

The integration of crossplay technology enables developers to create larger games with broader audiences, driving growth in the global gaming industry. With the addition of support for major console platforms, Epic Online Services allows developers to connect more players through a single overlay.

The crossplay overlay now seamlessly works across Steam, Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation, and Epic Games Store, enabling players to find their friends across the vast network of over 750 million Epic Games accounts and engage in cross-platform play.

Developers understand the complexities involved in creating a seamless crossplay experience. The crossplay overlay simplifies the process by allowing players to sign into their Epic Games account on all platforms and easily interact with their friends.

Key features of the overlay include:

  • Consistent pverlay UX: A pre-built overlay that offers a familiar player experience on both PC and console platforms.
  • Combined friends list: Friend lists from different platforms merge into a single overlay, enabling players to see and invite their friends from one central location.
  • Frictionless cross-platform account creation: Players can quickly start playing using their existing Epic Games account or create a new one, which is linked to their active native platform account.
  • Integrated game invites: In-game, players can search for and send game invites to friends across platforms, facilitating easy connection and gameplay together.
  • Secure social experience: The overlay adheres to the trust, safety, and privacy guidelines of native platforms, in addition to Epic’s own trust and safety controls.
  • Plug-and-play SDK: Epic Online Services provides self-contained toolsets, allowing developers to choose and implement the services they require for their games, including crossplay tools.

The crossplay functionality is offered as part of the free multiplayer services provided by Epic Online Services, enabling developers to utilize a single back-end service provider for authentication, social features, and game functionality. This allows developers to focus more on building unique game experiences while relying on Epic Online Services for crucial infrastructure.

Epic Online Services is a tested platform used by numerous games at scale today. It supports game development across different engines, can be deployed on any store and platform, and emphasizes the trust and satisfaction of its users.

To get started with Epic Online Services and the crossplay overlay, developers can follow three simple steps: download the Epic Online Services SDK 1.16, log in and configure it in the developer portal, and refer to the comprehensive documentation provided.

With the expansion of the crossplay overlay to consoles, Epic Online Services said it continues to drive innovation in the gaming industry, enabling players to connect with friends and enjoy games seamlessly across different platforms and stores.

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