Epic Games' Easy Anti-Cheat technology, which allows developers to secure multiplayer games against cheats and exploits, will be made free for all developers to use, even if their games are released exclusively on Steam.
The tech originally debuted in Fortnite, which is the game it was developed for and has since found its way into games including Dead by Daylight, Rust, Apex Legends and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. According to Epic, making these services free could save developers "millions of dollars" in development costs and licensing.
It's also made its Voice technology free, which powers voice chatting within Fornite, and only allows authenticated users to go through Voice servers while protecting the personal information of users, handing scaling, quality of service, and multi-region support for voice communications within games.
But the question is why? It seems the answer is that Epic wants to woo developers, allowing them to "connect their player communities, grow the games industry, and realize the vision of the Metaverse, together," according to Tim Sweeney. Your next question is, "what is the metaverse?" Good question. It's the latest buzzword within gaming, and currently lacks a solid definition, but generally refers to virtual spaces that will connect games, entertainment and people together within one ecosystem. Roblox is perhaps an example of a very basic outline of a metaverse, several games existing within one virtual ecosystem.
In the short term though, this is a win for game developers, who now have access to respectable anti-cheat systems at minimal cost, something that can only benefit players, especially when it comes to smaller indie or AA studios. Is it the solution to the world's cheating problems? Obviously not, but it's making anti-cheat a lot more accessible to a lot of games at the very least.