Cross-play, the ability to be on different consoles and play online with your friends is a relatively new concept and one that is getting traction fast. Why is this good? Because it ensures you don't have to choose between your friends and the console you love. You can get the console your friends don’t have and yet play with them online. Sony was against the idea of cross-play but caved in and has enabled the feature for Fortnite and Rocket League. In a recent interview with Game Informer, Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios Chairman, Shawn Layden said “We’re open for business on this one. All it takes is for publishers and developers who wish to permission it. As ever, just work with your PlayStation account manager, and they will walk you through the steps that we’ve learned through our partnership with Epic on how this works. I don’t believe right now there is any gating factor on that. I think they’re open to make proposals, because the Fortnite thing worked pretty well”.
Developers it seems disagree with that statement. Finn Brice, the CEO of Chucklefish, which developed and published Wargroove disagrees with what Sony has to say. He took to the gaming forum RestEra to express his concerns. He said, “We just launched Wargroove with crossplay between PC, Switch and Xbox so I wanted to chime in. We made many requests for crossplay (both through our account manager and directly with higher ups) all the way up until release month. We were told in no uncertain terms that it was not going to happen. From our side, we can *literally* toggle a switch and have it working. Of course policy work might be more complicated for Sony. Just wanted to provide some balance on the issue and say that it certainly isn't a question of developers having not contacted their account managers or having dropped the ball. We were told no.”
This is quite the issue especially considering how easy the developer makes enabling the feature sound. Simply flicking a switch to make the feature work means that there is a lot of red tape involved to get the feature working in the larger scheme of things.
Stewart Chisam, the CEO of Hi-Rez Studios, makers of Smite, Paladins, and Realm Royale took to twitter to express his concerns about the cross-play issue. He tweeted, “Hey @Sony @PlayStation. It's time to stop playing favorites and tear down the crossplay/progression wall for everyone. We have @SMITEGame, @PaladinsGame, @RealmRoyale ready to go when you are”.
If implementing the feature is as simple as flicking a switch, it is in Sony’s hands whether they want more games to have the feature or not. The ability to play between PC, consoles and mobile is fantastic as it gives gamers the freedom to choose their favourite platform and still be able to play with friends.
Despite Layden’s positive approach towards cross-play in the interview it looks like there are other forces at play preventing smooth functioning of the operation. It looks like only time will tell what the issue is here.
|Release Date:||17 Dec 2018|
Sameer Mitha lives for gaming and technology is his muse. When he isn’t busy playing with gadgets or video games he delves into the world of fantasy novels.
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