Bethesda open to cross-play for Fallout 76, but Sony won't play ball

Cross-play is quickly becoming a standard feature for many games despite the fact that Sony continues to hold out. Fortnite, Minecraft, and other titles allow Xbox One and Nintendo Switch customers to play together. It's safe to say that cross-play is the future of the industry and only one major hurdle remains.

In an interview between GameStar and Bethesda's Todd Howard, Howard revealed that the team wanted to add cross-play to Fallout 76. Unfortunately, that didn't happen because of certain restrictions. The following segment from GameStar's interview with Howard reveals why cross-play wasn't a part of Fallout 76. GameStar is a German publication so we translated the text to the best of our ability. The complete conversation is available as a free episode on GameStar TV.

Todd Howard said Bethesda wanted the first multiplayer offshoot in the Fallout series to feature cross-play, because… it's a big trend in the games industry. Unfortunately, the PlayStation group was not as helpful as everyone would like. Howard added that the company would love to do it, but right now it's not possible.

It's unfortunate that Sony continues to hold out. However, it's understandable given PlayStation's considerable sales advantage over the competition. Maybe one day the company will reconsider, but it'll probably only happen if it is at a sales disadvantage in the future.

Even though Fallout 76 is entirely online, it isn't a massively multiplayer online game. At any given time you'll be playing with dozens of people, not thousands. It's similar to titles like Anthem and Destiny 2. However, if you don't like playing with other gamers, you can also experience the title on your own. However, it's much easier if you have help, especially when it comes to gathering resources and building.

Fallout 76 isn't a hardcore survival game like Ark: Survival Evolved or Conan Exiles. Bethesda's Todd Howard called it "softcore survival" but it's unclear what that means. It seems that the focus will mostly be on completing quests rather than mining resources or chopping down trees.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • "this is (was) for the players"
  • Buy an Xbox 🎮
  • Eventually, a lack of cross platform will impact Sony's sales. Personally, I wont be buying any new consoles from Sony until they get over themselves.
  • That's the right thing to do, really.
  • Yep I'm voting with my wallet. I was debating on a PS4, but will probably get something different. Don't want to support this crap
  • Really? I mean of the survey that has taken place as to why people buy a console, cross-play as never been a main reason... PS: PS4 does more cross-play with non-Sony platform than XB1 with non-MS platform. I guess you won't buy a XB1 too...
  • That's kind of a bad example because a non-ms platforms are everything not Windows based and it's also not true. Two reasons that's a bad example is bc windows still is the most widely used OS in the world and most gamers use it. Also if gamers are using Linux it's mostly through Wine which is still a Windows coded game. they also do cross with Nintendo, iOS, and Android. So your statement that MS does less cross than PS is false because they do a lot more. Not to mention PS is being total dicks about it by blocking progression transferring between anything that has any contact with Xbox so they are the ones fighting way to hard against an eventuality.
  • When I'm saying non-MS platform, I'm not talking about windows. I'm talking about UWP Windows 10.
    XB1 hardly doesn't cross-play with windows games that are on steam for example.
    So no, you're wrong PS4 still does more cross-play than MS. Sony just doesn't want to do cross-play with MS and switch.
  • That’s on developers. Not Microsoft.
  • Most of Sony's crossplay titles are backcompat with PS4/Vita/PS3. There are crossplay titles between PS4 and PC, but you know what Sony is really preventing?crossplay between different consoles, which is the whole point of this discussion. So far, Xbox has something around ten titles which allow crossplay between Xbox and Nintendo. Sony has one with Nintendo and that's because this game didn't launch on Xbox
  • That’s simply not true. The “non-Sony” platform you’re talking about is PC. Last time I checked, that was a Microsoft platform. You can’t play games with any other consoles on PlayStation 4. Xbox One can play with Nintendo Switch.
  • That's simply a fact. I'm talking about cross-play with another platform.
    I'm not talking about specifically console cross-play. I guess that's what you're talking about.
    So maybe people should talk about console cross-play and not just cross-play as a whole.
  • Studio A/B/C/D ask MS and Big-N, can we do cross-play with steam, UWP, mobile, web games, whatever platform? Sure. Studio A/B/C/D ask Sony, can we do it? No if Xbox and Big-N are involved. Stance is clear and I'd do the same if I were running PS business. Giving users away is dangerous for PS in the long run. It's a HW company not a SW company.
  • People should consequently move away from a platform that is against crossplay.
  • To be fair, Microsoft was vehemently against crossplay last generation when Sony approached them about it.
  • Don't take this with malice, but two wrongs don't make a right. Also it was a different regime in charge then.. I'm totally against making excuses for divisive behavior.
  • I understand, and it is kinda spiteful on Sony's part, and pretty childish too. But if you go to your neighbours house and ask to borrow their screwdriver and they flat out say no, most people are going to be a little apprehensive to then offer up their tools when the neighbour asks them down the track.
  • That's true! But one had to be crazy back then to allow crossplay with Sony with all the problems psn had, especially regarding security
  • PS4 does more cross-play with non-Sony platform than XB1 with non-MS platform. I guess people should stay away from XB1...
  • No, it does cross play with PC. Don't dress it up. And if you're going there then Xbox has its fair share. Guess what? Can even buy some of them once and play them on PC or console!
  • What do you mean by no? PS4 does cross-play, I'm not dressing anything up. It does it with PC so PS4 is a platform that supports crossplay. That's a fact. The only people who try to dress it up are those who say it doesn't support cross-play. And if you're going there the PS4 has tone of games that are cross-play, cross-buy and cross-save with other PS platform...
  • Which Sony game is cross-buy, cross-play, and cross-save with PC? Please let me know.
  • huh? Where did I say cross-buy, cross-play, and cross-save with PC?
    That's when I talk about similar ecosystem.
  • cross-play/buy/save with other PS platform? Are you talking about the already dead PSV again?
  • He's talking about the abandoned PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. His propaganda would have you believe people want to cross-play with PlayStation 3! Imaging that. You buy a game on PlayStation 4 and then you play it on PlayStation 3.
  • While true (difficulty is since Windows is the same as Xbox there are more games available for if we count crossbuy) Microsoft has not held a third party game’s hostage and prevented you from playing it on another platform because you signed into it.
  • Well Sony don't want to do crossplay with MS. That's what we know.
    When it comes to the Fornite issue, the problem is with epic accounts. Epic should be the one to solve that issue.
  • It’s not Epic’s fault. It’s Sony’s due to their policies. Assign blame where it’s due. You’re just defending them for obvious reasons.
  • Is it Sony accounts or epic accounts? Sony has their policy but how can Sony manage Epic accounts?
  • Man... this is pathetic. Why would Epic lock it for Sony for no reason?
    What benefit is there? The purpose of linking other platform's account to MY ACCOUNT system is so that I can store data on my server. And when someone login using MY ACCOUNT or BINDED MY ACCOUNT, they can continue their progress. Why the hell would I lock MY ACCOUNT for Sony from Nintendo? It's common with Facebook account with games. Why the hell Facebook want to lock one account for iOS/Android from Android/iOS? And you call yourself programmer... Please, quit.
  • I never said Epic is doing it for no reason. Sony doesn't want to do crossplay with MS or the switch.
    Epic are managing their account. The accounts can only be linked to one console at a time. So it's basically a problem with how the account is designed.
    Here Epic should be contacted to fix the problem because they manage the Epic account.
  • Again, Sony shouldn't restrict. You're even admitting that Sony is the hurdle here and holding accounts hostage. If you're so sure it can be done easily, why don't you message Epic Games a solution?
  • "If you're so sure it can be done easily,"
    lol I never said it was easy. Stop putting words in my mouth.
  • > The accounts can only be linked to one console at a time.
    A very illogical thing a programmer can ever say... helpless.
  • What are you even talking about? That's how they designed their DB. Go and complain to Epic. Even though I'm sure this doesn't affect you and most of the XB/MS fans complaining...
  • Makes no sense, else Epic won't point their finger @ Sony. An Epic account can only link 1 console account, so you need to open Epic-Sony, Epic-MS, Epic-Nintendo, 3 accounts in order to cross-play?
    And which binded-account you gonna use when you want to play it from Epic Launcher or iOS? Might as well just login with your Sony, MS or Nintendo account without binding any Epic account. No cross-play from the start. Show me an interview or article stating Epic said they designed their system this way.
    Not even the world's stupidest programmer can design something this dumb.
  • LOL. No. Just stop talking!
  • Why do you keep on misinforming readers? The only system they do cross-play with is PC.
  • "The only system they do cross-play with is PC."
    Talk about misinforming people!! Can you stop lying?
    Besides steam, GOG, PS4 does cross play Mac, iOS, Android and Linux.
  • So no consoles. You admit it. Now stop misconstruing words. Does Sony even have a first-party game that's cross-play?
  • He never said that Sony do cross-play with consoles, in fact he repeatedly said they don't.
  • No doubt. He said Sony do cross-play, in fact, a lot more than MS and Nintendo. Sony does cross-play intensively. And you guys are all wrong. Epic is wrong, Bethesda is wrong. Articles on the internet are all wrong. Sony DO cross-play. btw, an Epic account linked to PS4 (PS account) is blocked from Switch (Nintendo account).
    He's argument is "Epic's fault, cause 1 Epic account can only bind to 1 console. Epic specifically designed their system this way"
    Make sense to you from a programming's (or a business's) point?
  • Are people really surprised that Sony said no to cross play?
  • Not surprised just a feeling of disappointment that continues to grow.. They can ignore gamers for only so long
  • Sony is too thickheaded thinking cross-play is "just for one game"..sadly. I have always believed that when the demand for all platforms to be able to play with each other drops, Sony is the one making the biggest 180 on it all. No more "All for it" when xbox said no back then due to technical incompatibility between Xbox live and psp/ps3 PSN. Still They should talk with Xbox and Nintendo ASAP and come to a solution together. At this point every excuse coming for them is BS imo since Nintendo did it that quick working with Xbox, Sony can do it too.
  • "when xbox said no back then due to technical incompatibility between Xbox live and psp/ps3 PSN"
    Do you have a link to that or are you just making it up?
  • If it was barely playable on Microsoft's own platform I can’t imagine how it would be better on another.
  • We can all imagine things. That doesn't mean it's true or a fact, right?
    We've had devs say it actually worked but MS didn't want it.
  • There are many interviews where Xbox 360 designers said that. This is before Xbox Live got the support it has now.
  • Right, I've just posted a link where a dev said it was possible. Now where are your links?
    MS people said this:
    "Because we can't guarantee this level of quality, or control the player experience on other consoles or gaming networks, we currently do not open our network to games that allow this cross-over capability."
    Talking about protecting their user base, this is about the same excuse Sony are giving now.
  • Where does Microsoft say they're "protecting children" like Sony? Come on. Had Sony even used that "quality" argument it would've been believable. This is definitely propaganda.
  • Here's the problem with that. If Sony is against cross play for fallout 76 there is no cross play. They hold all the cards. It's not on switch and pc would not be a good system to cross play with because of the advantages they would have. This is the same thing as if call of duty would do cross play. If Sony says no, then there's no cross play whatsoever. The general public would never know.
  • I am so glad that I got the XB1X.
  • It'd be nice if Microsoft could convince Bethesda to make it a Play Anywhere title. I wouldn't have to choose between playing with my PC or my Xbox friends.
  • But then you'd have to convince them to buy from the Store anyway. Since Play Anywhere doesn't usually mean it plays nice with Steam PC versions.
  • Most of them don't care about Steam vs the Store, they just don't have Xbox and prefer to have maxed out graphics.
  • Well, ofc, Sony doesn't want to do it with MS. Nothing new...
    What's really funny is that cross-play has never been a priority for Asher Madan of windowscentral and most of the XB/MS fans complaining about it now. I really question if they really care about it. If you did then please show me your old comments where you bashed MS for refusing to do it. Also where are your comments where you actually asked MSto do it this gen? (PS4 does more cross-play with non-sony platforms than XB1 with non-MS platforms) For me it's clear, most the XB/MS fans complaining here are just doing it because it's an easy ammunition in this silly console war.
    This is the exact same reason why most MS/XB fans starting hyping BC only after E3 2015 and resolution only after E3 2016.
    Priorities change depending on what the company is doing currently...
  • Your commenting is getting tiresome. And the only people provoking a 'console war' are people like you. Why do you need to point out Asher wrote this? Sounds very close to making personal criticisms against one of our staff. Tread carefully. Also, fwiw, I asked Asher to report this. I own a PS4 and a Switch and this Sony block on console crossplay annoys the living hell out of me. Who cares if they allow it with PC? What, they deserve a Nobel Prize? What happened in the past happened in the past. No-one can change that but Phil Spencer and his team are making a damn good go at making the Xbox platform the most inclusive and fun place to play with your friends. Sony is hiding behind its walls. The only people who are remotely happy about this are Sony fanboys. Which I assume you fall into.
  • @Richard
    The reason why I mentioned Asher Madan was because he is the one who wrote this article. Simple. How can I not react when someone say "Cross-play is quickly becoming a standard feature for many games despite the fact that Sony continues to hold out."
    It's becoming a standard??? MANY games?
    What's many? Around 10 and moslty tiny indies games? Tread carefully?
    That's so funny when you are resorting to name-calling when you are implying that I'm a "fanboy".
    Note: I didn't insult or attack anyone personally here. All I'm doing here is stating facts. I'm not here to defend Sony, as they don't want to do cross-play with MS. That's their decision and they have to live with it. If they get trashed for not allowing cross-play with MS or Switch then fair enough, I don't care about that. But here people say they don't support cross-play and that is FALSE. Plain and simple.
    And where did I even say I was happy about it? LOL My comment is about all this outcry that sounds so fake to me. Where were all these people prior to 2015 complaining to MS about not doing cross-play? Where were all these people before 2015 to say how important BC is? Where were all these people who are currently hyping resolution prior to 2016-2017? All these people should post links to their old posts where they lashed out at MS for doing the same or for hardly supporting cross-play with non-MS platform PC.
    All these people should post link where they thought that BC was really important prior to 2015.
    All these people should post link where they thought that resolution was really important prior to 2016. It's really interesting how this becomes the sort of battle people are fighting for when we currently have a major drought for years of major exclusives on XB1 compared to the competition. And it's likely to continue for more years.
    This looks like smokescreen and diversion tactics to move the attention away from that.
    Ok, Sony doesn't want to support cross play with MS. We know this for some time now. It looks like this is the major argument a pro-XB site has currently to help sell XB1...
  • This is ridiculous. You’re making personal attacks against me because you’ve been called out for blatantly misleading readers here.
  • So when I say that you weren't talking of cross-play or resolution before 2016. Or when I say that you were not talking of BC before 2015, it's a personal attack?
    Ok then...
  • Yes, you've lost the argument and are a troll. You purposely insult people to get them riled up. Do you even understand how articles work? Writers are assigned them. Maybe do some research before you spew out xenophobic hatred.
  • I bet you're just going to go back to your "your English isn't good" insults now. Because that's the type of troll you are.
  • So you are name-calling now?
    Calling me a troll and say I "spew out xenophobic hatred" just because I say you only started talking about resolution since 2016. LOL Bye
  • This person is a known troll I've told you about. There's no point even engaging him.
  • I push for cross play not for a "console war" of words in a comment section but because (here is the shocker..) I actually want cross play.. I own an Xbox, PS4 and a Switch.. A paying customer who is not alone in expressing what they want from their games. Not sure who really didn't want BC for free.. People are hyping it also because of the One X enhanced 360 titles basically are remasters that you don't have to buy twice.. Each system has it's own pros hence me buying all 3 but trust if normally traditional Nintendo can cross play it's a bad look that Sony is forcing gamers to stick only with them..
  • @Ear4Muzik
    My point is that cross-play existed for years now. For years this wasn't an issue.
    We didn't see people saying "We won't buy 360s because MS doesn't do cross-play with the PS3".
    We didn't see people going on saying "We won't buy XB1 because it doesn't do cross-play" prior to 2016.
    BC became huge just after E3 2015 and the Scorpio was not even announced.
    And that's the same thing with the importance of resolution. The history is there for everyone to see. XB/MS-centered media like this site and XB fans, brings up these issues depending on when it favours XB/MS. Sure these are issues that needs attention and needs to be talked about but here imo it's taken to the extreme. All that while ignoring the flaws that XB has. The whole thing looks like a marketing campaign. I'm not saying this whole site is like this, There are some great articles where they actually talk of the industry, gaming and even the strategies of XB in the future. But then there are so many of these articles that imo just blows things way out of proportion in a goal to promote XB/MS.
    And also all the XB fans who are making it sound like a major issue, reasons to boycott a console all together.
  • This is just propaganda at this point.
  • In regards to resolution, no it isn't. Prior to the Xbox One X being announced if you would ask a MS fan (or some writers on this site) about resolution they would tell you that it doesn't matter, you can barely see a difference, etc. Now, since Microsoft is on top, suddenly resolution is the most important aspect of gaming and every article title has to mention that a game runs in 4K. It's important to give credit where credit is due, both companies have made some incredibly stupid decisions over the years, and both will continue to do so, but if you're going to ignore one's failings, don't constantly harp on about the other because it makes your argument seem petty, simple as that. Also there is nothing political about his opinions, it isn't propaganda.
  • No. Ever since they started the preview program for Xbox one 4 years and 4 months ago the number one feedback was BC. It was a bigger deal for MS because all of their consoles could play some of the older original Xbox games. They didn’t neuter it suddenly when they released a new version of the console. So, it was expected to be able to play x360 games.
  • I'm talking about XB-MS centered media and XB fans on comment section...
    Those people fighting a silly console war...
  • You’re the one fighting it and instigating a console war here. I don’t think you even realize that.
  • I'm not the one making a major deal of crossplay. I'm not the one saying this is becoming a standard and that there are MANY platform games (when there are around 10)
    I'm not the one who say that I won't buy a console just because I can't play around 10 (mostly smaller indie games) with people of another console.
  • Is Fortnite a small indie game? Is Fallout 76 a small indie game? Come on. If you had used that argument for Rocket League or Minecraft I would've given you some credit, but this is just false. Fallout 76 isn't at all.
  • Do you know the meaning of the word "most"??
    Around 10 out of what thousands of game is considered "many"?
    Ok then, talk about propaganda... Bye
  • I need to preserve this quote. This is propaganda at its best.