Sony's mixed messaging on cross-platform continues, as Wargroove developer Chucklefish recently said that it was passed over for cross-platform play on PS4. This comes just after Sony Interactive Entertainment Chairman Shawn Layden said cross-platform on the console is "open for business[.]"
In an interview with Game Informer, Layden was asked about cross-platform play after two developers recently took to Twitter to publicly ask Sony why they were locked out of cross-platform. Layden says that this wasn't the case, and that cross-platform on the PS4, which would allow PlayStation 4 owners to play with Xbox One and Switch players, should be fairly open.
"People keep saying, 'Why doesn't Sony allow more people to have it?' We're open for business on this one," says Layden. "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. I don't believe right now there is any gating factor on that."
Layden cites the success of Fortnite as the reason for why cross-platform should be available to developers on the PlayStation 4. But in a post on ResetEra after Layden's interview was published, Chucklefish CEO Finn Brice said that this wasn't the case for Wargroove.
"Hi all, CEO of Chucklefish here, we just launched Wargroove with crossplay between PC, Switch and Xbox so I wanted to chime in. We made many requests for crossplay (both through our account manager and directly with higher ups) all the way up until release month. We were told in no uncertain terms that it was not going to happen."
Brice added, "From our side, we can literally (emphasis Brice) toggle a switch and have it working. Of course policy work might be more complicated for Sony."
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
Brice's account comes after developers at Hi-Rez and Gaijin Games publicly asked Sony why their games were also being locked out from cross-platform. Hi-Rez CEO Stew Chisam even compared trying to get cross-platform for its games to the Berlin Wall.
Sony's history with cross-platform is rocky to begin with. Xbox and Nintendo first broached cross-platform online play together with games like Minecraft and Rocket League. Developers asked Sony for similar access, but Sony demurred citing safety concerns. It wasn't until recently that Sony allowed cross-platform play on the PS4 with Fortnite. Since then, games like Rocket League were also able to enable cross-platform play. But it doesn't seem to be as open a door as Layden claims.
We've already reached out to Sony regarding the matter, but have yet to hear back at the time of publishing this article.