No Fortnite Cross-Platform Play Due To Money, Says Former Sony Exec
Players of smash hit games like Fortnite have been clamoring for cross-platform play for years. While Xbox and PC have utilized cross-platform gaming for quite some time, that’s easier to accomplish when you share a parent company. Whether you’re on a computer or console, the bottom line increases regardless. This doesn’t apply to Sony, who are the roadblock in a universal gaming world. One former executive provided the most predictable answer to why Sony resists its players’ desires: profit.
Former President of Sony Online Entertainment John Smedley gave us his take from his time with the company on Twitter. “When I was at Sony, the stated reason internally for this was money. They didn’t like someone buying something on an Xbox and it being used on a PlayStation.” Given the company’s responsibility to its shareholders, this is heartbreaking but unsurprising news. It’s also far more convincing than some of Sony’s previous excuses. Fortnite players continue to let Sony know exactly how they feel about the decision, a move Smedley encourages. “If we keep the pressure up,” he stated, “this problem goes away.”
Put bluntly, Sony probably shouldn’t worry about losing too many sales to Xbox. They have a stranglehold on the Fourth Console War, nearly doubling Microsoft’s sales. The Nintendo Switch remains extremely popular, but its late release mean it’s still trailing in total profit. One could argue that the ability to play games across platforms may boost sales, not hinder them.
Smedley’s comments may break the hearts of many gamers who just want to build and battle with their PS4 friends. Players of Fortnite flew into a frenzy when cross-platform play accidentally returned a few months ago. Epic Games vowed that they would “do whatever it takes” to get Sony on board with cross-platform play. Microsoft has previously announced cross-platforming with PC, Mac, iOS, and Android for Fortnite. The smash-hit is now available on Nintendo Switch, and Nintendo has declared itself open to cross-platform play. It appears that Sony has stranded itself on an island, albeit a very lucrative one. To be fair, Sony does allow Fortnite cross-platform play to mobile devices and computers. Only other consoles remain excluded.
Most developers also support cross-platform play as it boosts the opportunity for their sales and strengthens the community. Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan, for instance, called cross-platform experiences “very exciting”. It’s possible that the backlash from the Fortnite community may drive developers to demand cross-platform play in their Sony deals. However, given the company’s power and presence in the market, player/customer action may be the only way to achieve results.
What do you think, gamers? Will Sony buckle under public pressure and include cross-platform play? Do Smedley’s words ring true? Let us know in the comments, and follow DFTG on Twitter for more gaming updates!
Drew Weissman230 Posts
Drew is a freelance writer for DFTG. He's the former Managing Editor of Haogamers and has been published in the Chicago Tribune and The Paragon Journal. He also edited the novel Three Brightnesses and Artist Journey: Rachta Lin (2016 and 2017 editions).