First announced way back in 2018, then delayed in 2019 and finally launched in 2020, Epic Online Services are now getting Voice chat and Anti-Cheat support. The voice chat comes care of Epic’s 2018 acquisition of Kamu, makers of Easy Anti-Cheat, used in several AAA PC titles to help prevent cheating. With the addition of cross platform voice chat and anti-cheat software, Epic Online Services is now a fairly full featured suite of online services, including game lobbies, achievements, online storage, matchmaking and more. Best of all, in addition to being completely free, Epic Online Services are game engine agnostic and can be used in other engines such as Unity or Godot, as well as implemented in your own custom game engine using the C# or C++ SDKs.
Details of the acquisition from the Unreal Engine blog:
Voice is a free cross-platform service for developers to offer in-game voice chat functionality to their players across all major desktop, console, and mobile platforms, using any major game engine on the market.
Prior to release, Voice has been battle-tested on Fortnite. The service has proven to super-charge engagement and provide high-quality, stable, fast, and efficient voice functionality at massive scale. Fortnite has seen a peak of 15.3 million concurrent players. We’re excited to make Voice available for developers to offer to their communities within their games.
Connections are established between authenticated users and relayed through the Epic Online Services back-end servers. Epic Online Services handles all the scaling, quality of service, maintenance, multi-region presence, and other machinery of the voice servers.
The service seamlessly integrates with Epic Online Services’ Lobbies—enabling voice conferencing for members of your lobbies.
Easy Anti-Cheat is the industry-leading anti-cheat service. After having joined the Epic family, the service is now free for developers to protect their PC games against hacking and cheating.
As a well-established brand with nearly a decade of experience serving over a hundred online games worldwide, Easy Anti-Cheat can be trusted to handle millions of users at peak times. Its long-standing, scalable systems continually evolve and enable all games to benefit from new cheat prevention and detection techniques as discovered and developed for any game under its protection.
Easy Anti-Cheat runs in the background and prevents common cheating techniques as a robust and ever evolving first-line of defense. In addition to the prevention capabilities, cheats are detected by cross-checking a large database of known cheat techniques, alongside machine-learning processes. Accounts using detected cheats are then listed in the Epic Online Services Developer Portal, empowering you to act as you see fit.
With a range of self-service tools at the fingertips, developers get direct control of anti-cheat enforcement, adjustable at the click of a button. Test and deploy security updates when they suit your game’s development schedule. The service seamlessly integrates with Epic Online Services’ Player Sanctions and Player Reports.
You can learn more about Epic Online Services, the addition of Voice and Anti-Cheat and more in the video below. If you want to jump into Epic Online Services, you can access the documentation right here.