Epic opens up Fortnite crossplay tools for anyone to use

Multiplayer cross-console play might finally be happening more often.

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
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  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein
2 min read

Will more crossplay multiplayer games mean more games that interconnect like Fortnite?

Epic Games

I'm so used to seeing my kid hop into Fortnite and play his friends anywhere, that it's easy to forget how rare crossplay is between consoles, mobile and PCs. Epic Games just made its Epic Online Services tools available for other game developers, which could lead to a lot more cross-platform games... and a chance for Fortnite friends to carry over to other services.

Epic Games announced the news alongside a preview of Unreal Engine 5 running on PlayStation 5.

Epic's tools won't require the Epic Games Store to work, and according to Epic's post, developers could choose to integrate the features into existing social features. Fortnite works across PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Switch, PlayStation and Xbox, and the Epic Games Services will start on Mac, PC, Switch, Xbox, PlayStation and Linux, with iOS and Android "coming soon."

Right now, true crossplay is rare. Games like Roblox and Minecraft largely support it across consoles, PCs and mobile devices, but for example, PC gamers can't play the online-only Fallout 76 with console gamers.  

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According to Epic, the matchmaking and crossplay functions can work with Apple, Discord, Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, Steam, and Epic Games platforms, and Epic Games account log-in options are available separate from the matchmaking tools.

Whether this results in a lot more people finally able to make crossplay games, or ones that hook into Epic's social community of friends, remains to be seen. More open and crossplatform games on consoles, and ones that hook into mobile, are exactly what I want.

More details on the service are here. Whether the crossplay era will really open up remains to be seen. 

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