While the PlayStation 4 has finally embraced games like Rocket League and Fortnite's new cross-play abilities, Sony is being called out by developers for picking its favorites. Currently, the vehicular shooter and battle royale brawler are the only titles out there that gamers can play on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, while other developers ask for a piece of the action.
There's been a lot of criticism thrown Sony's way when it comes to cross-play. Only last year, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said the company wouldn't jump on the cross-play bandwagon and defiantly stated, "Our way of thinking is always that PlayStation is the best place to play." However, even as Sony starts to move into the realms of cross-play, certain developers claim that favorites are getting preferential treatment.
Earlier this week, Gaijin Entertainment posted a Three Billboards-inspired Tweet asking why Sony isn't supporting War Thunder's cross-play aspirations. Following suit, Hi-Rez also took to social media to vent about Sony's cross-play beta initiative. Hi-Rez CEO Stew Chisam shared a clip of Ronald Reagan's iconic "Tear down this wall" speech to his followers.
Hey @Sony @PlayStation. It's time to stop playing favorites and tear down the crossplay/progression wall for everyone. We have @SMITEGame, @PaladinsGame, @RealmRoyale ready to go when you are. https://t.co/KNDetpXPf5— HiRezStew (@schisam) February 8, 2019
The implication is clearly that Sony continues to put up barriers to prevent a united front for cross-play gaming. Chisam said it's time to "stop playing favorites" and highlighted three of Hi-Rez's games that are ready and waiting for Sony's cross-play.
Xplay improves match quality in multiplayer games. When we added crossplay between Paladins Xbox and Switch:— HiRezStew (@schisam) February 8, 2019
>> Wait time reduced 30%
>> Level spread between players down 40%
>> 40% reduction in ELO std deviation per match
>> 80% reduction in "Bad" matches (by our internal defn)
A second tweet went on to highlight the benefits that cross-play has added to Paladins. As well as a reduced wait time, Chisam pointed out there have been 80% fewer "bad" matches. As it stands, April's Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid will feature cross-play, but not for the PS4. With Hi-Rez known for developing Paladins, Smite, and Realm Royale -- all having a similar story of including cross-play but missing out on that elusive PS4 seal of approval -- it's a little easier to see why the studio is annoyed at Sony.
Cross-play seems to be the way the gaming world is slowly moving. Bethesda was famously critical of Sony and blamed its cross-play views as a big reason for locking Fallout 76 to specific consoles. Still, players have to wonder if cross-play would've done anything to help the title's lackluster reception. Last June, Paladins Executive Producer Chris Larson said "Sony is not to keen on x-play" when one fan asked what was going on with the PlayStation 4.
Sony has previously promised to come up with a cross-play solution, but it seems like more and more developers are getting tired of waiting for them. As developers like Gaijin Entertainment and Hi-Rez continue to pile on the pressure, it's a case of wait and see when/if Sony buckles and joins Microsoft and Nintendo with a more liberal approach to cross-play.