What is cross-platform game development?

Do you remember your desire to play your favorite PC game while having access only to a smartphone or tablet? To deal with similar problems of thousands of people, cross-platform game development was created. Nowadays, we can play so many titles on multiple platforms and operating systems, such as PCs and consoles (like PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch), mobile devices (such as iOS and Android), and sometimes even web browsers.

A comprehensive guide about cross-platform game development

Actually, cross platform game development is a very convenient approach for companies aiming to save money and resources. Instead of developing separate game versions for mobile devices, PCs, and consoles, developers create a single one that will be deployed across multiple platforms. It can sound quite complicated but can be easily achieved through cross-platform game engines such as Unity, Unreal Engine, and more. However, we’ll tell you the details a little bit later.

Our customers in different game genres have seamlessly switched from console to mobile. Ready to join them?

Our List of Cross-Platform Games

Sometimes people have no idea their favorite games are available on multiple platforms.

Our team doesn’t agree with this statement. If you like something, play it every time you want to play. It isn’t necessary to wait until the end of the day. So, especially for you, we’ve created a list of the most famous titles in different game genres. Maybe, it’s finally a chance to update your mobile games list ;)

Especially if the talk is about popular titles: “If you play a game on a PC you don't need to download the same game on a smartphone, right?”

Our team doesn’t agree with this statement. If you like something, play it every time you want to play. It isn’t necessary to wait until the end of the day. So, especially for you, we’ve created a list of the most famous titles in different game genres. Maybe, it’s finally a chance to update your mobile games list ;)

Dead by Daylight is an asymmetric survival horror game developed by Behaviour Interactive. Each match is a tense game of cat-and-mouse, with survivors working together to repair generators and escape while the killer hunts them down.

Supported platforms: PC, consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch), and mobile devices.

Survival horror game Dead By Daylight cross-platform

Among Us is a multiplayer online game developed by InnerSloth. Players take on the roles of crewmates aboard a spaceship, with some being impostors whose goal is to sabotage the ship and eliminate the crewmates.

Supported platforms: PC, iOS, and Android devices.

Multiplayer online game Among Us cross-platform

Fortnite is a top-rated battle royale game developed by Epic Games. This game is well-known for its cartoonish art style and unique building mechanics alongside traditional shooting gameplay.

Supported platforms: PC, consoles (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch), and mobile devices.

Top-rated battle royale game Fortnite cross-platform on PlayStation, XBOX & PC

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a first-person shooter game developed by Infinity Ward. Being a part of the long-running Call of Duty series, this game is still very popular due to its realistic graphics, intense gameplay, and unforgettable single-player campaign.

Supported platforms: PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.

A first-person shooter game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare cross-platform

Forza Horizon 4 is an open-world racing game developed by Playground Games. Players can participate in various races, challenges, and events solo or with other players in multiplayer mode.

Supported platforms: PC and Xbox.

An open-world racing game Forza Horizon 4 cross-platform

Cross-Platform vs Cross-Play

You already know that cross-platform development is about creating games for multiple platforms. In return, cross-play is a feature when players from different platforms can play together. The perfect examples are the games Fortnite and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. While someone plays a battle royale game or shooter on PC, their friends or opponents can play on PlayStation or Xbox.

FEATURE
CROSS-PLATFORM
CROSS-PLAY
Implementation
Requires development to support multiple platforms
Requires backend infrastructure and matchmaking systems
Benefits
Broadens player base, increases accessibility
Enhances multiplayer experience, reduces fragmentation
Challenges
Platform-specific optimizations, compatibility issues
Synchronization of gameplay experiences, balancing issues
Notable Games
Among Us, Fortnite, Dead by Daylight
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Rocket League

Benefits of Cross-Platform Game Development

Cross-platform game development is like using a powerful tool in making games. It means making games that work smoothly on many devices, like phones, game consoles, and more.

The advantages of it are quite helpful.

  • 1

    Broader audience reach

    By creating a game that can run on PCs, consoles, and mobile devices, developers can reach a wider audience that increases the potential player base and revenue opportunities.

  • 2

    Increased accessibility

    Platform game development allows players to access the game from their preferred devices, whether it's a PC, console, or mobile device. This flexibility shows that game companies accommodate different player preferences and lifestyles.

  • 3

    Enhanced social interaction

    Cross-platform play gives players from various platforms an opportunity to connect and play together. Also, friends who own different devices can still enjoy gaming sessions together.

  • 4

    Diverse player experience

    Players can enjoy a bright and diverse gaming experience across all the platforms. This includes access to the same features, content updates, and multiplayer interactions.

  • 5

    Reduced development costs

    Instead of developing separate versions of the game for each platform, developers can use game porting services or create a single version that can be deployed across multiple platforms which leads to significant cost savings in terms of development, testing, and maintenance.

Development with one Platform

If you want to make a game for multiple platforms only with the use of Unreal or Unity game development services, cross platform game development is the best idea.

Especially if you prefer to work with our team ;)

Using a single game engine streamlines the development process, as developers can work within a familiar environment and utilize a consistent set of tools and workflows. Due to this, developers don’t need to learn and adapt to different environments for each platform.

Additionally, leveraging just one cross-platform game engine ensures easier maintenance and updates. Developers can implement changes or optimizations to the game once and deploy them across all supported platforms.

Gaming engines Unity Godot Cocos

Version Control

Version control is one more benefit of cross-platform game development, as there is a single source code for the game. With version control systems like Git, developers can track changes to the codebase and manage different versions of the game with ease.

Also, developers can maintain a centralized repository containing the entire history of changes to the codebase. So, if they need to revert to previous versions, they just track who made specific changes and merge contributions from multiple team members seamlessly.

Platform Compliance

All the developers want to create games optimized for the hardware and software of each platform, as well as ensure that the game meets the requirements of each platform for publication. Platform compliance, which is one more pleasant feature of platform game development, easily helps with that.

Optimizing games for specific platforms involves tailoring the game’s performance, graphics, and user experience to suit the capabilities and limitations of the target devices. This may include adjusting graphical settings, optimizing resource usage, and ensuring compatibility with the unique features of each platform, such as motion controls or touchscreens.

In addition to performance considerations, developers must make sure their games comply with the technical and content requirements set forth by platform holders for publication. This includes adhering to guidelines related to file size, age ratings, localization, and compatibility with platform-specific features and services.

Reusable Components

Developers across different platforms prefer working with reusable components, such as code and resources, to increase efficiency in game development. With their use, developers can streamline all the processes and reduce redundancy. These components can include code snippets, libraries, assets, and design elements that perform specific functions or represent common features within the game.

For example, developers can create reusable code modules for handling input, managing user interfaces, implementing game mechanics, or handling networking tasks. Similarly, graphical assets such as textures, models, and animations can be designed in a way that allows them to be easily integrated into different parts of the game across multiple platforms.

Best Cross-Platform Mobile Game Engines

Unity

The leader of cross-platform mobile game development, Unity is a popular game development platform that allows developers to create high-quality games for iOS and Android.

With Unity, developers can write code once and deploy it across multiple platforms which reduces development time and effort, as there’s no need to maintain separate codebases for each platform.

Unity cross-platform mobile game engine supports 18 platforms, Unity supported platforms

Unreal Engine

One of the best modern mobile game engines, Unreal Engine is well-known for its high-quality graphics, advanced rendering capabilities, and excellent toolset.

As everyone knows, Unreal Engine has outstanding graphics capabilities, including advanced lighting, particle effects, and visual effects which allows developers to create visually stunning games on mobile devices that can compete with AAA titles.

Unreal Engine cross-platform mobile game engine supports 20 platforms, Unreal Engine supported platforms

HTML5 cross-platform game engines

When it comes to cross-platform mobile game engines utilizing HTML5 technology, several options stand out as popular choices among developers.

As one of the best we can highlight Phaser (a fast and flexible HTML5 game framework that enables developers to create 2D games for mobile platforms), Cocos2d-html5 (provides tools for developing both 2D and 3D games, with features such as sprite animation, scene management, and particle effects), and Construct 3 (requires no coding knowledge, making it accessible to beginners and experienced developers alike).

HTML-5 cross-platform mobile game engines support 5 platforms, HTML-5 supported platforms

Godot Engine

Are you looking for a powerful open-source 2D game engine? Godot Engine is an excellent choice! It is completely free to use and is released under the MIT license, making it accessible to developers of all backgrounds and budgets.

This engine offers a choice between visual scripting and GDScript, a Python-like scripting language, for game development so developers with varying levels of programming experience, from beginners to advanced users, can work with Godot Engine.

Godot Engine cross-platform mobile game engine support 18 platforms, Godot Engine supported platforms

Cocos2d

Everyone likes Cocos2d for its comprehensive set of features and tools for game development, including sprite animation, scene management, physics simulation, particle effects, and audio integration.

Also, Cocos2d is well-known for its user-friendly interface and intuitive development workflow, making it accessible to developers of all skill levels.

Cocos2D cross-platform mobile game engine support 12 platforms, Cocos2D supported platforms

CryEngine

CryEngine is a powerful and advanced cross-platform game engine that stands out in creating high-fidelity graphics and unforgettable gaming experiences. While historically known for its focus on PC and console game development, CryEngine has expanded its capabilities to support mobile game development as well.

These days, the engine is renowned for its powerful graphics capabilities, including realistic lighting, advanced particle effects, and detailed environments. 

CryEngine cross-platform mobile game engine support 8 platforms, CryEngine supported platforms

Gamemaker Studio

GameMaker Studio features a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface that allows beginners to create games without any prior programming knowledge. It also offers a powerful scripting language called GameMaker Language for more advanced users.

Also, GameMaker Studio has an amazing community that shares a lot of tutorials and online resources. And of course, it provides extensive documentation, tutorials, and sample projects to help developers learn and master their skills.

Gamemaker Studio cross-platform mobile game engine support 17 platforms, Gamemaker Studio supported platforms

Monogame

MonoGame is a powerful and flexible open-source game framework that helps developers create cross-platform games with ease. It is built on the C# programming language, which offers a powerful and modern development environment for game development.

Developers familiar with C# will find it easy to use MonoGame to create games, and the language’s strong typing and garbage collection make it well-suited for mobile game development.

Monogame cross-platform mobile game engine support 17 platforms, Monogame supported platforms

Our Cross-Platform Game Development Process

  • 1

    Planning and analysis

    After conducting market research and analyzing competitor games, we define project goals, target platforms, and audience.

  • 2

    Conceptualization and design

    Our team of artists and designers generates game ideas and concepts based on analysis. After that, we create game design documents and develop wireframes to visualize the game's UI/UX.

  • 3

    Game development

    We implement game mechanics, features, and content using a chosen game engine. At this stage, we also integrate third-party services for analytics, advertising, and monetization.

  • 4

    Game testing

    Our developers don’t forget to conduct alpha and beta testing phases to identify bugs, glitches, and gameplay issues.

  • 5

    Soft Launch

    After all previous stages, we release the game in selected markets or to a limited audience for testing and feedback. Then, we make further refinements based on data collected during the game soft launch phase.

  • 6

    Game Deployment

    We are almost done! Now it’s time to prepare the game for official launch on all intended platforms and optimize game performance.

  • 7

    Monetization

    Our team of professionals adds in-app purchases, ads, subscriptions, and premium purchases. Also, we continuously monitor and optimize revenue generation while maintaining a positive player experience.

If you are looking for professional and highly experienced game development outsourcing services and excellent communication, collaboration, and iteration processes, we are ready to help you!