It only took 3 weeks from Sony’s initial announcement regarding their stance on cross-platform play for them to come forward and change their tune.
Shawn Layden (Sony Interactive Entertainment) addressed the idea of crossplay and what it would entail on a recent episode of the Playstation Blogcast by going on the record stating “We know this is a want, this is a desire. And we want to be able to deliver that in the best way possible.”. He continued with, “Now, enabling cross-play isn’t just about flipping a switch and ‘there you go’. It’s a very multi-dimensional kind of attribute or feature.”.
I have a hard time believing that Layden truly feels this way, even though I understand the infrastructure and code that goes behind supporting this level of game play. But in September 2017, Epic “accidentally” enabled crossplay on Fortnite, claiming that it was a “Configuration Issue”. So maybe all the hard ground work has already been done, and it IS as easy as just flipping a switch in this case?
Layden goes on to state that “We had to look at it from a technical point of view. We have to work with our partners from a business point of view. We have to make sure that if we enable this, do we have the right customer service support? Do we have the right messaging out there? Do we have all these different things that you have to get in line? It’s rather ordinal – they have to go in a certain order to get it all set up.”
I imagine that there are other facets of the business that can be impacted, such as stakeholders, other business partners, advertisers, etc. I’m not a business wizard… Simply a ranting nerd. So I can’t even imagine the layers of approval and processes that could hold this back within the Sony organization. Additionally, what happens when you have a complaint against a player and they’re on another platform? Would it be the game company that deals with that or would PSN, XBL or Nintendo have a sort of mega-list they forward periodically to the other services for review?
While this isn’t a guarantee that we’re getting crossplay, it sounds promising that Sony is willing to take the step in the right direction on this and do the fans a real service here. It’s nice to see a more optimistic answer and approach, rather than the excuses we saw in previous statements from team Sony. Let’s just hope that the “Beta” for Fortnite cross-play isn’t some tactic for delaying the hot button issue in hopes the community “forgets”.