By now it is common knowledge that the ability for cross-console play in some of your favorite games is being limited by a single entity, yes Sony we’re looking at you. Crossplay is being limited in current games such as Fortnite and Rocket League, but we now have our first huge launch in Fallout 76 that will, due to Sony’s misguided stance on the subject, forego crossplay entirely.
Sony has come straight out and stated that they are iffy on the idea of a gamer buying a product on a Sony console and then using that product on a Microsoft console— an understandable position under most circumstances, but at this point in gaming it’s little more than an excuse for Sony to maintain the status quo. Before we place the blame solely on Sony, though, let’s take a look at their “contract” with gamers that allows them to hold their current position.
View from the top
Sony took an early lead this console cycle due to Microsoft’s initial, admittedly anti-consumer, attempt to bring gaming forward to an all-digital future. Gamers of all kinds were pissed, sounding off on all available outlets. Sony was basically gifted a multi-year cushion in that all they had to do was make a console stronger than the PS3 while touting that they had gamers’ best interests at heart. For those who stayed with or switched over to Sony, this created a contract of sorts; this contract, however, was misunderstood by both parties. Gamers elevated Sony to the role of the savior of the console race, rising to any occasion, knocking down the big bad competition by any means necessary. Sony, still coasting by on their easy E3 2013 victory, believed all they had to do was maintain their status quo.
Now, Sony finds themselves in a position where they need to do what’s best for gamers, let alone the industry itself, and move forward with crossplay. Gamers have a responsibility to the industry as well, finding it necessary to continue to demand a cross-functional futrue with the same ferocity they fought Microsoft’s hostage-esque check-in system.
The ball obviously lies in Sony’s court, but holding the PlayStation faithful back from the freedom of crossplay is selfish in the short term and altogether bad for business in the long run. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!