Epic Games offers multiplayer tools free to developers

Left 4 Dead’s original crew is back (in a different zombie game)

Zombie Army 4: Dead War is an alternate history game that involves Hitler, hellmouths, and tons of zombies. A new addition to the game introduces four members of the Left 4 Dead cast: Zoey, Louis, Bill, and Francis.

Voice chat and anti-cheat support are now among the free services Epic Games is offering to game developers, the publisher announced on Tuesday. The services are touted as the same ones supporting huge online hits like Fortnite and Rocket League.

“Operating voice communications and anti-cheat in a popular online game can cost millions of dollars,” Epic said in a news release. The company said it’s offering its services free in hopes that “more developers [will] build cross-platform games.”

Epic has been at the vanguard of cross-platform play, using the dominant popularity of Fortnite to overcome Sony’s resistance to letting PlayStation consoles play with other platforms three years ago. (Of course, that did come with monetary concessions, such as paying royalties that Sony expects to cover lost business. And Sony itself took a $250 million stake in privately-held Epic last summer.)

League of Legends’ Ruined King will plague all of Riot’s games in new event

All of Riot’s games will be invaded by Viego, a broken-hearted wife guy with control over the undead masses of the Shadow Isles. Players will get to battle back Viego’s invasion in a series of events across all of Riot’s games, even the totally unrelated Valorant.

Epic’s Voice and Easy Anti-Cheat are part of the package now offered by Epic Online Services, a development toolkit originally built for Fortnite. “These new free tools will further establish Epic Online Services as an industry leader in backend services for game developers,” the company said. Epic Online Services also includes support for matchmaking, leaderboards, and multiplayer lobbies.

Epic called Voice “battle-tested in Fortnite, offering players a built-in cross-platform solution to chat and play with their friends.” Easy Anti-Cheat, introduced in 2018, can “handle millions of users at peak times,” Epic said.

Since 2015, Epic has offered its Unreal Engine free for any developer to use, with royalties assessed on games that make above a certain gross revenue. Unreal Engine 5 launched in early access to developers less than a month ago.

Fans speculate on Ghost of Tsushima PC release after box art changes

Ghost of Tsushima’s package art has changed on Amazon and the PlayStation Direct store, which has fans speculating on whether the open world samurai game will follow in the footsteps of other PlayStation exclusives ported to PC, like Horizon Zero Dawn and Days Gone.