In a recent interview with Game Informer
, Sony Interactive chairman Shawn Layden responded to the company's long-standing reversal and recent implementation of cross-play. Currently a feature found in the likes of Fortnite and Rocket League (from Feb 20), he told the publication, "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." Turn out, not exactly.
It's worth noting first though, that cross-play functionality on PlayStation 4, which allows cross-platform play for players on all platforms (PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch), is technically still in beta.
That said, according to a few developers it's not something that is available for all titles - and that for them, business is closed when it comes to PlayStation 4 cross-play. Hi-Rex Studio's boss recently took to Twitter to confirm that it's efforts have so far been unsuccessful. With the developer ready to implement the feature across SMITE, Paladins, and Realm Royale. To flick the switch so to speak.
The long-running SMITE recently got cross-platform support in its latest update - but only across PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Indie studio Chucklefish, of Wargroove
, also responded - taking to ResetEra
and stating in no uncertain terms that it's request for the feature was refused.
We made many requests for crossplay (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.
This goes against Shawn Layden's statements made to Game Informer, who added, "Just work with your PlayStation account manager, and they will walk you through the steps that we’ve learned through our partnership with Epic on how this works", who also earlier re-iterated the somewhat strange "It’s not just like flipping a switch. When we did turn it on, light it up, we wanted to make sure we had thought out all the different ramifications of cross-play, cross-purchase, cross-progress, Those are all three very discreet aspects of what cross-play is, and there are decisions you make in provisioning those different pieces of it that if you make it quick and hasty, and the wrong decision, you can put yourself in a corner really fast, and that prevents scalability over time and the ability to bring people in in a secure and safe way".
Which weirdly brought up Sony's reasoning for actively blocking the feature - safety concerns. In the end Fortnite is Fortnite, perhaps PlayStation 4 cross-play will be limited to only a handful of titles throughout 2019. The chosen few.