Epic Games just announced a big upgrade to Epic Online Services, which will now include a full toolkit to enable developers to do cross-play.
Currently, the initial release of the new tools in the EOS SDK supports "PC" (they mean Windows), but they fully plan to support Linux and macOS as well. They already support Epic and Steam directly with more stores coming and consoles / mobile support coming later. EOS includes a special overlay (like the Steam Overlay) that brings together Steam and Epic friends and all the integration into a single list.
For game developers, this sounds thoroughly useful.
What it includes:
- All friends, one place. Steam and Epic Games 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 improvements without needing to update anything themselves.
- Plug-and-play SDK. Each Epic Online Services toolset is self-contained, so developers can mix and match the services they want to implement, incorporate the things they want, and leave the rest. Crossplay tools are no different.
Hopefully people will use this over Vivox, which still doesn't support Linux and can be quite problematic with Proton too. Even if you don't particularly like the Epic Games Store, what they offer with Epic Online Services seems pretty great.