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Monday, September 20, 2021

Fortnite users can now live stream gameplay to Houseparty’s social video app – TechCrunch

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Houseparty, the social video app acquired by Fortnite maker Epic Games in 2019, has just announced a major new step in terms of integrating these two properties: the company says it will now allow gamers to live stream their Fortnite gameplay directly into Houseparty. The feature works to allow users to share their gameplay with up to 9 other friends in a Houseparty room.

The addition follows Houseparty’s launch of a “Fortnite Mode” last November, which added a video chat feature to Fortnite where players could see live feeds from their friends while gaming, powered by Houseparty. Today’s launch is something of a reverse of that, as it lets players stream the game to friends, which is viewable inside Houseparty itself. This allows the users’ friends — including those who may not be Fortnite gamers themselves — to watch and and interact with the player.

To use the new feature, the Fortnite player will need have enabled Fortnite Mode Streaming and be connected to Houseparty. When they begin to stream their gameplay, their friends on Houseparty will be notified that their game feeds are now available to watch.

The Fortnite player can then see who is watching their stream via a graphic overlaid on their screen which shows their “watcher count.” This is represented by a little eye icon in the middle-left of the screen for the gamer, while Houseparty users will see the eye icon in the top-left of their video screen.

During the live stream, the player and their friends can watch and chat, as usual.

If the Fortnite player doesn’t want to live stream their gameplay, they can change this at any time from a setting inside Fortnite without losing their ability to use the video chat feature. Parents and guardians can also turn on and off Fortnite Mode and other privacy features inside Fortnite’s settings. The company notes that personal info will be blocked from streams, including payments information. However, The Lobby, your menus, and your gameplay can all be streamed when Fortnite Mode is enabled.

Houseparty had first gained traction as a way for friends to virtually “hang out” online through video chat, but ultimately sold to Epic Games shortly after the gaming giant had raised a massive $1.25 billion round. So far, Houseparty hasn’t given up on its other social features, even as it has become more closely integrated with Fortnite. The launch of the new feature creates potential for Houseparty to capture some of the more casual live streaming that today takes place on other platforms, like Twitch, Facebook or YouTube, where users aren’t necessarily streaming for fans, but rather for friends.

The company says the new feature won’t offer a record function for later exporting these live streams for publishing elsewhere, but notes that Fortnite already allows the ability to save replays.

At launch, Fortnite gameplay integration with Houseparty is available across PC and PlayStation only (PS4 and PS5). Epic Games didn’t say if or when other platforms would be supported. Houseparty users on iOS, Android and Chrome will be able to watch the live streams.

The previously launched video chat feature in Fortnite was also supported on PCs and PlayStations.

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