Cross-play is quickly becoming an industry standard as Microsoft and Nintendo lead the way. A lot of titles are cross-play between both platforms, and more games are constantly being updated with the feature. Unfortunately, Sony is still a little slow to the party and has only allowed a handful of games like Fortnite to implement the feature.
Many developers have spoken out in the past about Sony's restrictions, and how even to this day cross-play is hard to implement because Sony doesn't easily grant approval in the beta program. However, Shawn Layden, the current Chairman of Sony Internative Entertainment Worldwide Studios, claims otherwise.
In an interview with Game Informer, Layden placed the blame on developers because they haven't reached out to their PlayStation account managers. He said the following.
We got to that place in Fortnite and it seems to be going reasonably well, from what I can tell. The Rocket League light up will happen soon. People keep saying, 'Why doesn't Sony allow more people to have it?' 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 Games 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.
We just launched Wargroove with cross-play between PC, Switch and Xbox One so I wanted to chime in. We made many requests for cross-play, 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.
It's evident that Sony is still making it hard for smaller developers to implement cross-play because they're being denied. It's unclear why Layden implied otherwise. Hopefully the two parties can work together to bring cross-play to Wargroove in the near future.
It's clear that cross-play is the future of the industry, but Sony has been reluctant due to its tremendous sales advantage over the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. We may have to wait until next-generation consoles release in 2020 — and the console race starts again — for it to become a standard feature.
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