Now PC players can play with other PC players.
Epic Online Services

Epic Online Services is a new toolset announced by Epic Games today. The Epic Online Services allows games to "unify player communities for all developers." That is to say, it now allows games that were "exclusive to the Epic Games Store to play nice with games that then come out on Steam at a later date.

Outside of games like Borderlands 3, which makes use of their own back-end, multiplayer games released first on the Epic Games Store really didn't have a way to play nicely with the same games released later on Steam. That is, until now.

The Epic Online Services were apparently first announced back in December 2018. At the time this was a way for Epic to allow cross-platform play of Fortnite between the major platforms that the game is available on. The Epic Online Services has now expanded to allow all developers to utilize the SDK to "quickly and easily launch, operate, and scale their games across engines, stores, and platforms of their choices."

“At Epic, we believe in open, integrated platforms (Editor's note: hah) and in the future of gaming being a highly social and connected experience,” said Chris Dyl, General Manager, Online Services, Epic Games. “Through Epic Online Services, we strive to help build a user-friendly ecosystem for both developers and players, where creators can benefit regardless of how they choose to build and publish their games, and where players can play games with their friends and enjoy the same quality experience regardless of the hardware they own.”
For this launch, there will be two different services that will help developers connect their communities together. These are Game Services and Epic Account Services that enable cross-play, cross-progression, and "other preeminent online features."

Those games built primarily for the Epic Games Store in mind should have a much easier time bringing their game to other storefronts now. Hey, maybe we'll finally see World War Z on Steam now? Yeah? Huh... maybe.

Game Services:
Working independently of one another, and independently of any stores and platforms, Game Services deliver the essential set of backend services a game needs to work on any platform or store. Developers are free to selectively mix and match Game Services together with any other services, and are able to authenticate players with the OpenID identity provider of their choice or with any of the included out-of-the-box integrations with Apple, Discord, Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, Steam, and Epic Games.
  • Matchmaking: Match up players in pairs or groups to play together.
  • Lobbies (Preview): Give players the ability to join a session via invite or search, or create sessions of your own for players to join.
  • Peer-to-peer: Establish peer-to-peer network connectivity between multiple players regardless of firewalls or router setups.
  • Achievements: Motivate your players with badges, statuses, and achievements as they progress in your game.
  • Stats: Query player stats in real time and display achievements on leaderboards or within your own game construct.
  • Leaderboards: Show your players how they rank against their friends and everyone else, encouraging competitive and engaging gameplay.
  • Player data storage: Give your players the freedom to move between platforms by storing their game data in the cloud.
  • Game analytics: Track gameplay, frequency, playerbase, time, and location KPIs to identify opportunities for improvement or expansion.
  • Player ticketing: Connect directly with your players and personalize service through tickets tied to player profiles.
Epic Account Services:
Epic Account Services enable a developer to connect to Epic accounts and leverage the largest cross-platform social graph in the world, with more than 350 million players and their 2.2 billion friend connections on over half-a-billion devices, built up by Fortnite.
  • Login: Enable players to sign in with their Epic Games account and any of the system’s supported identity providers including PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, Facebook, and Google.
  • Friends: Show your players when their friends are online on any platform, and help them stay connected so they can easily party up and play.
Supported Platforms
  • Available now: Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch
  • Coming soon: Android, iOS