Ever since the moment game consoles first enabled online play about two decades ago, gamers have dreamed of being to play with and against their friends on other consoles. Now known as “cross-play,” the feature finally started becoming reality for some games and platforms last year, but Sony has not joined Microsoft and Nintendo in jumping on the cross-play bandwagon, and at least one prominent developer isn’t happy about it.
“Gamers want cross-play, and we are committed to doing whatever it takes to make that happen,” Epic Games Worldwide Creative Director Donald Mustard said live on last night’s The Game Awards broadcast. “Players deserve it.”
Mustard’s Fortnite was already a particularly visible example of Sony’s opposition to cross-play. In September, players on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 were all briefly able to play one another, but that functionality was quickly pulled from the game. “We had a configuration issue and it has now been corrected,” Epic said at the time.
With the “issue” corrected, Fortnite players on PC can jump into matches with PS4 players, but cross-play between PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners was eliminated. Epic has also said Xbox One players will eventually be able to get into matches with PC players.
“Look, Fortnite is even better when you’re playing with your real friends, and due to platform restrictions there are some players that aren’t able to play with their friends and are left out,” Mustard said last night.]
Microsoft publicly stated its support for cross-platform play all the way back in March 2016. Nintendo followed suit by allowing Xbox and Switch cross-play in games like Rocket League and Minecraft earlier this year. That just leaves Sony, a spokesperson for which told Eurogamer in June had no “profound philosophical stance” against cross-play but also admitted there was no conversation about allowing the feature.