Sony Is 'Open For Business' On Cross-Play, Devs Feel Otherwise

Sony Interactive Entertainment Chairman Shawn Layden makes a statement on PlayStation 4 cross-play support, but developers suggest it is simply inaccurate.

Over the years, Sony Interactive Entertainment has shown a great deal of reluctance in allowing PlayStation 4 owners to play multi-platform titles with players on other consoles and PC. While a recent interview with SIE Chairman Shawn Layden suggests that the company is now open to facilitating cross-play, a number of developers have come forward indicating otherwise. 

Speaking with Game Informer, Layden says that while some players may be questioning why Sony does not allow games other than Fortnite and Rocket League to support cross-play, the company is "open for business on this one." He continues by explaining how a title should go about pursuing cross-play as an option:

All it takes is for publishers and developers who wish to permission it. As ever, 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.

While this seems to be a straightforward process, certain developers are suggesting that this is simply not the case. For instance, the CEO of Chucklefish took to ResetEra, the home of a popular forum for video game discussion, to elaborate on the company's experience trying to get cross-play support for its new turn-based tactics gameWargroove.

"We made many requests for cross-play (both through our account manager and directly with higher-ups) all the way up until release month," Chucklefish's CEO claims, but it seems that these asks were ineffective. "We were told in no uncertain terms that it was not going to happen."

Furthermore, it is indicated that Chucklefish could have cross-play working for PlayStation 4 players with the "toggle of a switch." This may leave some players wondering why Sony would simply not allow them to do so.

A recent tweet from Hi-Rez Studio CEO and President Stew Chisam suggests that the reason is that Sony is "playing favorites" with what titles are given cross-play support, despite Layden's statement that he doesn't believe there is "any gating factor." As with Wargroove, Chisam additionally indicates that his company has SmitePaladins, and Realm Royale ready for cross-play.

Regardless of the reasons for Sony's reluctance, some fans are certain to be disappointed to hear that the company is still withholding cross-play support from eager developers. Perhaps Layden's remarks mean that a change is indeed on its way to the company, but Chucklefish and Hi-Rez's statements do seem to suggest that it has not yet arrived.

The interview with Shawn Layden can be found on Game Informer. Chucklefish's CEO's statement can be found on ResetEra. Stew Chisam's statement can be found on Twitter.

Associate Editor

A stay-at-home-dad with a passion for meditation and video games.

Published Feb. 13th 2019

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