GDC 2019: Epic offers Online Services powering Fortnite to all developers for free

Available for developers working on any platform, store or engine

GDC 2019: Epic offers Online Services powering Fortnite to all developers for free

Epic has launched a new Online Services platform that helps developers to launch, operate and scale their games.

Unveiled during Epic's State of Unreal keynote, the Online Services SDK and developer portal offers access to services such as analytics and a ticketing system for customer support.

Additional tools and features will be released throughout the year, such as player data storage to store and enumerate arbitrary game data on behalf of authorised players; and player reports, which enables players to report the positive or negative behaviour of other users. Epic is targeting a May 2019 release for the features mentioned.

Other features in the pipeline for later in the year include achievements, leaderboards and stats; in-game communication across platforms, matchmaking, and cross-platform player identity, amongst other additions.

Free for all

Epic Online Services will be free and accessible for developers working on any platform, store or engine. That includes those building their games on tech rival Unity.

The platform was originally built for battle royale hit Fortnite and has already dealt with the demands and data from nearly 250 million players and 10.7 million peak concurrent users.

Epic Online Services are available from today.

"Building a game is only the beginning for developers," said Epic CEO Tim Sweeney.

"We know from experience that successfully managing and scaling your game requires a robust infrastructure, with numerous back-end services.

"With Fortnite we are now operating these services at an enormous scale, and we are glad to start opening them up to the game development community at large in order to make it easier for teams of all sizes to succeed."

You can find more details about Epic Online Services on the company's website.

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Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.