In spite of having enabled cross-platform play functionality for a few games on the PS4, Sony has staunchly remained reluctant to do so on a larger scale, even in the face of constantly increasing demand from developers and audiences alike. The fact that Microsoft and Nintendo have declared their systems completely open to cross-play, with the benefits of the functionality also becoming more commonly acknowledged, means that Sony, now, remains an outlier- but a massive one.
Recently, we interviewed Lewis Boadle of Fallen Tree Games, an indie studio that’s currently hard at work on top down open world crime game American Fugitive, in vein of classic Grand Theft Auto titles, on which Boadle serves as art director. When asked about Sony’s policy on cross-play functionality, Boadle said that their steps have been business-driven more than technology-driven (which seems to be a common consensus)- but he remains sure that eventually Sony’s stance will soften.
“I think their reasons are probably business-driven more than technology-driven, but if the demand from the community is strong, I’m sure they’ll eventually soften,” Boadle said. “Fortnite has certainly helped!”
“I don’t see how the option to play with your friends – no matter what console they own – could ever be a bad thing,” he added. “Whatever technical challenges stand in the way, I think we are getting to
the point where they need to be overcome.”
In fairness, Sony has publicly talked about being more open to the idea of cross-play (and not too long ago, in fact), which is more than can be said for their stance on it in the past. Sure, they need to put those words into practice, but at least we’re taking baby steps as an industry. We can only hopes those steps turn into strides not long from now, for a feature that is clearly wanted by so many people.
Fallen Tree Games’ American Fugitive is out later this year for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Our full interview with Boadle, meanwhile, will be going live soon, so stay tuned for that as well.