June 22 (Reuters) - "Fortnite" creator Epic Games, which is entrenched in a legal battle with Apple Inc AAPL.O, said on Tuesday it now has more than 500 million accounts.
The videogame developer said it had 2.7 billion friend connections across "Fortnite", "Rocket League" and the Epic Games Store. The company had disclosed last year that "Fortnite" had 350 million registered users as of June 2020.
Epic Games said it was also launching free voice chat and anti-cheat tools that developers can add to their games.
The features will be bundled with Epic's online services suite, originally built for "Fortnite", and help developers launch, operate and scale their games using any engine and across platforms including Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation and Xbox.
Epic said the voice technology, already integrated and battle-tested in "Fortnite", will allow developers to implement one-on-one or group chat features in their games.
Audio chat has become increasingly popular with apps such as Discord, where users coordinate group activities such as games, discussions and even virtual parties.
The anti-cheat tool, which was earlier separately licensed will now be folded into Epic Online Services for free.
Epic Games, currently valued at about $28.7 billion after a funding round in April, launched "Fortnite" in 2017 and has since then has amassed a huge following among young gamers.
(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)
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