PlayStation Needs to Let Cross-Play Happen
Do you have a friend or two who refuse to come over to one platform or the other? Do you wish you could play with them regardless of the platform? Yeah, me too. Cross-play has long been a dream of many gamers. In recent months, the dream has become just out of reach due to one single thing…PlayStation!
Sony is the sole purpose cross play has not occurred. Ever since Microsoft introduced play anywhere games on Xbox and Windows 10, the movement has been strong on their end. Back in E3, they announced Minecraft will have cross-play on all platforms…except PlayStation! WHY?!?!
No Reason is Better Than a Bad Reason
In an interview with Eurogamer and the PlayStation global sales and marketing head, Jim Ryan, the reason is as follows:
“We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe. Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it’s something we have to think about very carefully.”
This is a terrible reason for not allowing cross-play. Online services are not rated or age-restricted unless by the parent via parental controls. Is this PlayStation saying they don’t want little kids hearing a few F-bombs? What about Nintendo? They are known for being friendly and yet they have already jumped on the cross-play train for Rocket League and Minecraft.
This response came from Ryan after confronted about Nintendo’s actions: “Yeah, that’s true. Everybody has to take their own decisions. We’ll do that. Like I say, we have no philosophical stance against cross-play at all.” There you have it! Sony has no reason for not allowing cross-platform play or so they say. Who knows, they may have some odd cooperate scheme or reasoning behind, but of course, they are not sharing it with us.
A Cohesive Community
Cross-play enables many benefits for players and developers. When a feature like this is enabled, the player base severely grows in size. When player base grows, the game has fewer wait times, more competition and a richer community. This results in a larger player base for a longer time. One major problem developers of multiplayer games have is the ability to keep a constant player base.
Not only does it relieve some stress off the developers, but it also comforts them that their game will have a single cohesive player base when their game launches. Great multiplayer game communities will be able to live longer without having to add downloadable content every few months after launch. A large player base stays engaged and focused on the single game that would normally lose interest after a month after launch because they are having trouble finding a game.
PlayStation doesn’t have to worry about their precious exclusives. Most, if not all exclusive titles are single-player based with some online content which doesn’t require large communities to stay afloat. Adding large player bases to a mainly multiplayer game only rewards you.
PlayStation doesn’t seem to have a great relationship with other major consoles. Xbox and Nintendo are both working together to build the Minecraft and Rocket League player base. Microsoft has offered the idea of cross play to Sony many times but continues to bat the option away. The behavior of this kind doesn’t help the two’s relationship.
Instead of throwing the idea away, Sony needs to pick it up and run with it. Once cross-play begins, a relationship can form among the gaming community through players, developers, and corporations. Nothing will be perfect at first. When the ability is there, it can only be improved on further. Competitions on each platform can occur where the end crowns the platform who did the best. These kinds of ideas will create a rich environment for all gamers regardless of age.
Paving the Way for Cross-Play
There is no timeline on when this long-awaited feature will come to PlayStation. Many rumors have circled the idea that Microsoft and Sony are talking, but something tells me they are false. Microsoft and Nintendo will continue to pave the way in building relationships in the community by creating a cohesive environment. Games on those platforms will thrive as one while PlayStation’s multiplayer community will dwindle.
All gamer’s can do now is support the idea for this feature and push towards Sony making a decision. If no decision is made then a reasoning is needed. Give the player’s what they want, the ability to play with others regardless of platform and preference.