Some developers are accusing Sony of playing favorites after revealing that their online games still haven't been approved for cross-platform play on the PlayStation 4. One studio even likened their isolation to the Berlin Wall.
Players and journalists have been asking Sony for months if it was implementing cross-platform play into the PS4, and for months Sony has demurred. Finally, last year Sony agreed to begin a cross-platform play beta on the PS4, starting with Fortnite. This meant PS4 players could play online with Xbox One Fortnite players, and vice versa. The program expanded to include games like Rocket League, but it turns out the beta hasn't been as open as some developers would have liked.
Hi-Rez Studios, developers of Smite and Paladins, and Gaijin Games, who developed War Thunder, have called Sony out publicly on social media for not responding to their requests to implement cross-platform play into their own games. Hi-Rez CEO Stew Chisam even posted the famous clip of President Reagan asking Soviet Union Premier Gorbachev to "tear down" the Berlin Wall.
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. http://go.redirectingat.com?id=87431X1573192&xs=1&url=https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FKNDetpXPf5— HiRezStew (@schisam) February 8, 2019
Gaijin Games meanwhile made a reference to the 2017 film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri for their callout tweet. In a statement to wccftech, Gaijin Games said, "From [War Thunder's] initial release on PlayStation 4 as a launch title, War Thunder was a cross-platform game. One of the first on the console's new generation."
Gaijin Games said that while War Thunder is cross-play compatible between PS4 and PC, requests to open War Thunder to Xbox One players haven't been responded to. "We asked Sony for it multiple times, before the Xbox One version launch when the PlayStation Cross-Play Beta was announced, but we haven't received clearance yet. Technically War Thunder is ready to become a fully cross-platform title, as it was designed to be from the very beginning."
Cross-platform play breaks down traditional hardware barriers by allowing players on different consoles to play online with each other. Microsoft spearheaded cross-platform play by allowing gamers to play titles like Minecraft and Fortnite with players on PC, mobile, and Nintendo Switch. While Sony finally allowed for cross-platform play last year, Microsoft seems to be looking for an even more open hardware ecosystem with a planned launch of Xbox Live to other platforms.
We've reached out to Sony to ask about how it handles requests from developers who wish to go cross-platform.