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12. December 2018


Fresh on the heels of releasing their new online store leverage the technologies they developed creating Fortnite, Epic Games have announced plans for a cross-platform online multiplayer game service, that is game engine agnostic and completely free for developers!  Rolling out in stages, it will start life as a C SDK, with Unreal and Unity (yes, that Unity) game engine implementations starting with cloud saves and online storage and adding new features such as logins, achievements, friends lists, voice communications and more as time goes on.

Details of the roll out strategy from the Unreal blog:

The service launch will begin with a C SDK encapsulating our online services, together with Unreal Engine and Unity integrations. We’ll start with a core set of features and expand over time. Specifically:

  • Cross-Platform Login, Friends, Presence, Profile, and Entitlements (coming Q2-Q3 2019 to PC, other platforms throughout 2019): Provides the core functionality for persistently recognizing players across multiple sessions and devices; identifying friends; and managing free and paid item entitlements. This will support all 7 major platforms (PC, Mac, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch) to the full extent each platform allows per-title.
  • PC/Mac Overlay API (coming Q3 2019): Provides a user interface for login, friends, and other features in a game-agnostic, engine-agnostic way.
  • Cross-Platform Voice Comms (coming Q3 2019 to all platforms): Epic is building a new in-game voice communications service supporting all platforms, all stores, and all engines, which will be available for free. (For developers needing an immediately-available voice solution, check out Discord, Vivox, TeamSpeak, Ventrilo, and Mumble.)
  • Cross-Platform Parties and Matchmaking (coming Q3-4 2019 to all platforms)
  • Cross-Platform Data Storage, Cloud-Saved Games (coming Q2 2019)
  • Cross-Platform Achievements and Trophies (coming Q3 2019)


The services described above are just our first steps. As you can see from our game and engine efforts, we’re also working on further support for user-generated content, enhanced social features, anti-cheat, and more.


Simply put, there has to be a catch here, but I cannot determine exactly what it is.  This could potentially be a massive opportunity for game developers looking to support multiplayer in their game and a huge shot across the bow for technology providers that make their living providing such services now for a fee!

GameDev News


4. December 2018


Steam just got another major competitor and this one is pretty amazing.  Fresh on the success of launching their own store and payment ecosystem to support the game Fortnite, Epic Games are opening that system up to other game developers.  Perhaps most impressive, they are doing it with a 88/12% revenue split, massively lower than the standard 70/30% cut at other game stores such as Steam, Google Play and the Apple App Store.  It will initially launch for Windows and Mac, with Android and other platforms coming soon.  You are not required to use Unreal Engine to publish your game on the store, however if you do the deal gets even better.  As part of their 12% royalty, they will also cover the Unreal Engine 4 license costs!  Additionally they are also launching an affiliate program to help encourage influencers to drive traffic to the game store.

Details of the new program from the Unreal Engine blog:

Soon we'll launch the Epic Games store, and begin a long journey to advance the cause of all developers. The store will launch with a hand-curated set of games on PC and Mac, then it will open up more broadly to other games and to Android and other open platforms throughout 2019.

The Epic Games store will operate on the following principles:
All Developers Earn 88%
Developers receive 88% of revenue. There are no tiers or thresholds. Epic takes 12%. And if you’re using Unreal Engine, Epic will cover the 5% engine royalty for sales on the Epic Games store, out of Epic’s 12%.


Have a Direct Relationship With Players
People who buy your games automatically subscribe to your newsfeed so you can reach them with game updates and news about upcoming releases. The newsfeed is front-and-center.  You’ll also be able to reach your players through email, if they choose to share it.


Connect with Creators
YouTube content creators, Twitch streamers, bloggers, and others are at the leading edge of game discovery. The 10,000-strong Epic Games Support-A-Creator program helps you reach creators, so they can help you reach players. If you opt to participate, creators who refer players to buy your game will receive a share of the revenue that you set (tracked by code or affiliate marketing link). To jumpstart the creator economy, Epic will cover the first 5% of creator revenue-sharing for the first 24 months.


Developers Control Their Game Pages
As a developer, you control your game page and your newsfeed. There will be no store-placed ads or cross-marketing of competing games on your page, and no paid ads in search results.


All Engines Are Welcome
The Epic Games store is open to games built with any engine, and the first releases span Unreal, Unity and internal engines.


When You Succeed, We Succeed
We’ve built this store and its economic model so that Epic’s interests are aligned with your interests.  Because of the high volume of Fortnite transactions, we can process store payments, serve bandwidth, and support customers very efficiently. From Epic’s 12% store fee, we’ll have a profitable business we’ll grow and reinvest in for years to come!


Watch the following video for details of why I think this move is going to be absolutely game changing!  The words “Steam Killer” are said a lot, but I honestly think this one is the biggest competitor yet.

GameDev News


7. November 2018


Epic Games have just released Unreal Engine 4.21.  This release was very clearly influenced by the development process and requirements of creating Fortnite for iOS and Android, with several improvements to both mobile support, testing procedures and networking code resulting.  This release also features further improvements to Niagara, the new particle system, which now has Nintendo Switch support and a much more user friendly creation process.  Another new and interesting if experimental feature is Pixel Streaming, enabling you to broadcast from an Unreal Engine game directly to supported modern web browsers.

Details of the release from the Unreal Engine blog:

Unreal Engine 4.21 continues our relentless pursuit of greater efficiency, performance, and stability for every project on any platform. We made it easier to work smarter and create faster because we want your imagination to be the only limit when using our tools. And we battle-tested the engine on every platform until it met our developers' high standards so your project will shine once it is ready for the masses.

We are always looking for ways to streamline everyday tasks so developers can focus on creating meaningful, exciting, and engaging experiences. Our industry-leading Niagara effects toolset is now even more powerful and easier to use, enabling you to dream up the next generation of real-time visual effects. You can build multiplayer experiences on a scale not previously possible using the now production-ready Replication Graph functionality. Iterate faster thanks to optimizations with up to a 60% speed increase when cooking content, run automated tests to find issues using the new Gauntlet automation framework, and speed up your day-to-day workflows with usability improvements to the Animation system, Blueprint Visual Scripting, Sequencer, and more.

We strive to make it possible for your creations to be enjoyed as you intended by everyone, everywhere regardless of the form factor they choose. Building on the previous release, we have added even more optimizations developed for Fortnite on Android and iOS to further improve the process for developing for mobile devices. Available in Early Access, Pixel Streaming opens a whole new avenue to deploy apps in a web browser with no barrier to entry and no compromise on rendering quality. We have also improved support for Linux as well as augmented, virtual, and mixed reality devices.

As with all Unreal Engine releases, the release notes go into a great deal more detail, so be sure to click to learn more or watch the video embedded below.  As always, you can install Unreal Engine using the Epic Game Launcher.


1. November 2018


Epic Games have announced a very cool new promotion where they are collaborating with Unreal Engine Marketplace developers to make their assets available to the broader community completely free for a limited time.  For the month of November you can get the follow assets completely free:

You can add the above assets to your account for free for the remainder of the month of November 2018, and they will remain yours to use forever.  In addition to the above 5 assets, they have also made a number of other assets free for all time, such as water materials, voice packs, soundtracks and more.  Be sure to check the Unreal Engine blog for details on all of the newly free assets as well as for more details on the above assets.

They are also intending to do this again next month, and hopefully continuing into the future.  If you are an Unreal Engine marketplace developer and are interested in having your content featured, be sure to visit this site for more details.  While this is certainly amazing news for Unreal Engine developers, it will be interesting to see what it will do for the Unreal Engine marketplace going forward.


GameDev News


25. September 2018


Back in March of this year, Epic announced a $12 million dollar asset giveaway of their now defunct game Paragon.  This included several characters and world creation assets from the game, in Unreal Engine format, complete with rig, control blueprints, multiple animations and more.  These are free for use as long as you are using them in an Unreal Engine powered project.  Today Epic announced the final release of assets from the game, a final 19 fully rigged and textured characters.

Details from the Unreal Engine blog:

This final round follows two previous releases in March and August through which developers can download Paragon packs to use in their own UE4 projects with no strings attached. To date, Epic has released more than $17 million worth of content from its high-end multiplayer online battle arena game, including dozens of characters with their custom animation Blueprints, visual effects and audio dialogue, along with environment set pieces and sample maps.


This final selection of free releases includes 19 memorable Paragon Heroes: Aurora, Drongo, Gideon, Greystone, Iggy & Scorch, Kallari, Lt. Belica, Morigesh, Narbash, Revenant,  Sparrow, Steel, Sun-Wukong, Terra, The Fey, Wraith, Yin, Zinx and Boris - the previously unreleased character who was the final Paragon Hero to be announced. In addition, several previously unreleased bonus skins are also included.

You can view the assets in the Unreal Engine store right here.  For details on how to use the assets, be sure to watch the following video:

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