Epic Games has released Epic Online Services SDK 1.15 for developers and is introducing new crossplay functionality for PC, starting with Steam and the Epic Games Store. Tested at scale across Fortnite, Rocket League, and Fall Guys, Crossplay for PC is a plug-and-play service that provides creators everything they need to connect their game and community across platforms.
Epic Games Store and Steam Crossplay Not Far Away
Crossplay functionality between Steam and the Epic Games Store and a common user interface are promised by Epic. In the long term, other digital stores will also be compatible. Epic Online Services includes an overlay that merges Steam and Epic Games friends into a single list and an interface to search for friends, send and receive friend requests, and join multiplayer game sessions across stores.
Development to natively support other PC digital stores is underway, as well as macOS and Linux compatibility for desktop, with support for crossplay on console and mobile platforms coming later. Here are some of the features that Epic Online Services SDK 1.15 offers:
- All friends, one place. Steam and Epic Store friends merge into one overlay, allowing players to see all friends in a single list.
- Integrated game invites. In-game, players can search and send invites to friends across Steam and the Epic Games Store, making connecting and playing together easy.
- Account linking. Onboarding without emails or password prompts. With just a few clicks, Steam players can jump into a game while an Epic Games account is created under the hood for their Steam account.
- Update-free improvements. When games are installed, the crossplay features are distributed via a self-updating in-game overlay. Players can enjoy new features and enhancements without needing to update anything themselves.
According to Epic, all friends in Epic Games Store or Steam should be together in one layer. A cross-platform search should be as possible as invitations. Instead of fiddling with passwords, Epic says Steam players can jump into a game with just a few clicks while creating an Epic Games account. Developers would have a free hand as to the extent to which they implement which services.