Another day, another hope of cross-platform gaming on Playstation dashed. This time the developers of upcoming survival-action title Ark: Survival Evolved who have lamented yet another example of cross-platform gaming blocked by Sony, joining the growing list of titles where Playstation gamers will be exiled.
The developers for the game took to Twitter to blast Sony’s decision to block cross-platform play, which Ark’s devs say is “working internally, but currently Sony won’t allow it”
We have it working internally, but currently Sony won't allow it 🙁
— Jeremy Stieglitz (@arkjeremy) August 18, 2017
The game is due to be released on consoles on 29th August, which doesn’t give Sony much time to give the “OK” before the game goes live.
The Lonely Island
Aside from this news about Ark, Playstation owners have also been disappointed by the recent announcements that Minecraft will get cross-platform play later this year on Xbox, PC, mobile editions and Switch while Playstation ‘crafters will remain isolated. The frustration has led to an online petition gathering nearly 10,000 signatures calling for cross-platform Minecrafting to be allowed on Playstation.
We would love to have PlayStation players along with the unified Minecraft, hope that we can. https://t.co/hRGPG8Aj8a
— Aubrey @ Stockholm (@Chupacaubrey) June 11, 2017
Destruction Derby With Balls Rocket League is also moving towards a fully-joined up gaming community, and when the Switch version comes out later this year it will support play with gamers on Windows PC and Xbox One…. but not Playstation.
The Witcher 3‘s standalone card battler, Gwent, was poised to roll out cross-platform play before finding out that Sony had other ideas.
Even Tekken 7 was tipped to include cross-platform play at one point, before the developers found technical limitations in the networking setup which meant that console-PC play would not be introduced, although this one may not be Sony’s fault….
each policy conflicts, it is impossible to realize without wasting useless server. Server = big Lag.
— Katsuhiro Harada (@Harada_TEKKEN) March 7, 2017
Sony spoke about this issue during an interview earlier this year, churning out several BS reasons such:
“We’ve got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base. Minecraft–the demographic playing that, you know as well as I do, it’s all ages but it’s also very young,” he said. “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 sounds like a big pile of BS to me, particularly as Nintendo have somehow found a way – with their notably younger demographic – to get around these issues and allow several games to work cross-platform. The true reason appears to be Sony saying “we’re doing alright with our paid online subscription service and we don’t want to make Xbox any more appealing by allowing cross-platform play”.
Xbox say they are totally on board with the idea, and the way that game engines and networking are often shared between PC and modern console games means that cross-platform almost seems like the next logical step in gaming.
Sony on the other hand, seems to be stubbornly refusing the march of progress. I’m sure Sony have their reasons…. after all, everything they do is “for the players”.