After constant pressure – and the threat of losing millions of euros Fortnite players – Sony announced last year that they will let the selected games cross-play with any platform. But since then the company has never opened the floodgates, and the developers are defining them.
Taehoon Kim, CEO of nWay Games (the team behind Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid), recently targeted Sony during a panel at PAX East. The panel focused on esports and cross-play and the role of cross-play in advancing the sports industry.
Of course, it is not possible to activate cross-play without talking to Sony. The company was notoriously protective of its position as the dominant console of this generation, but the mass appeal of Fortnite finally it broke. Studies have been rude about Sony's refusal to allow more games to have a universal crossover since then.
"We made many crossplay requests (both through our account manager and directly with the highest ups) until the release of the month … we were told in no uncertain terms that it would not happen", the managing director of WargrooveThe creators of Chucklefish, Finn Brice, said.
A couple of months and not much has changed. During the panel, nWay Games CEO noted that families like to play together and that Sony's policy has not helped.
"Right now [cross-play isn’t] completely there, because one of the biggest platforms out there, Sony, isn't yet fully open, "said Kim.
"People want to play with their friends, and not all of your friends will be on the same platform as you. Being able to do it is great, and families like to play together with games like Vainglory is Fortnite is that an entire family may want to play together, but no one owns four PlayStations. "
Sean Keith, head of the Tron Arcade game, noted that cross-play had a particularly democratic effect for players in Asia and Southeast Asia. "There are many countries where people do not have PCs," he explained. "They only play with their phones, up to this point, before the crossplay, they were forced to play with mobile games and only with mobile games. Which are great, but if they wanted to play a game like Fortnite, they didn't they would be able to play outside of something like a coffee game. "
"With the progress of crossplay, it will democratize, in a sense, the sport: suddenly, players who previously could not participate in competitive games can do so through their phones.
The panel also touched on the idea of establishing weight classes or levels – such as motorsport – for people who play sports through different devices or platforms. It also covered several matchmaking techniques for cross-play, the concept of a metaverse shared between games powered by some form of blockchain, and more.
An abbreviated transcription of the panel can be read on Venturebeat.