Cross-play and cross-progression seem to be where the gaming industry is headed, and now that titles like Fortnite even support the functionality between Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4, it was only a matter of time before other developers committed to it. "Cross-play" means that you can play matches with people on other platforms. "Cross-progression" means that you can play on your Xbox One, pick up your Nintendo Switch, and be exactly where you were on the other console.

Today, Hi-Rez Studios — the makers of Paladins, Realm Royale, and Smite — issued the following statement in support of cross-play.

Hi-Rez Studios believes gamers should be able to play with their friends — and access their content — regardless of what platform they play on. We are incredibly excited to be at the forefront of this great cross-platform movement. As we are among the first developers to offer cross-platform play and progression, we are still defining best practices hand-in-hand with platform providers... we are several months from the launch of cross-platform play and progression.

The post further clarified that cross-play and cross-progression will go live with the 2.01 update for Paladins, and the 6.1 update for Smite. Both of these updates are currently scheduled for January 2019. Realm Royale will support cross-play at launch, but cross-progression will be added at a later date.

At launch, all three games will only support cross-play between Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac. Sony still seems like it has only allowed Epic Games to test cross-play with Fortnite. Hopefully this will change in the coming months. Hi-Rez also said that cross-platform chat would be added to all three games eventually.

Paladins is a free-to-play team-based shooter with strategy elements and substantial character customization. Through a unique collectible card system, players can amplify and augment their character's core abilities to play exactly how they want.

Smite is a free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena that unlike most multiplayer online battle arenas, focuses on combat by having players play in third-person.

Realm Royale is a free-to-play fantasy-themed battle royale experience. You can choose a class, then loot deadly weapons and powerful abilities to create your own champion. Exploration also plays an important role because you can traverse the world from horseback and craft legendary gear at forges. If you can't wait for the proper launch, Hi-Rez just announced that Realm Royale entered closed beta on Xbox One. You can sign up for access on the game's website.

Additionally, Microsoft has renewed its partnership with Hi-Rez to allow Mixer to provide exclusive esports coverage. Given the fact that the two companies are collaborating to such a degree, it's understandable why there's a push towards cross-play and cross-progression. That's where the future of the industry lies and it starts with working with strong partners.

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