Last week, Sony PlayStation came under flak for their refusal to allow cross-play of Epic Games’ highly popular Battle Royale title, Fortnite: Battle Royale. Players who tried to link their Epic Games account when signing in on the Nintendo Switch were barred from doing so if they already linked their account to their PlayStation Network account earlier.
While those unfamiliar with the game would ask “What’s the big deal? Fortnite’s free anyway!” – well here’s the thing; while Epic Games’ Battle Royale mode for Fortnite is free to download, many players have spent considerable amount of real money to purchase in-game cosmetic items. Many would call this move by Sony irrational but former Online Entertainment Head at Sony (and current head of Amazon Game Studios) has clarified our suspicion all along; it was all about the money.
In a since-deleted tweet, Smedley posted the following:
Our take? In the grander scheme of things, we believe allowing cross-play between consoles would benefit everyone, with Epic Games being the biggest winner of the lot. The more the merrier, right? However, this is business and you have to understand that it looks mighty different from the view of the current leaders in home consoles, the folks at PlayStation.
While PlayStation 4 is clearly the worldwide leader when it comes to present-gen home gaming consoles, they are still neck and neck with Xbox One in North America and with Fortnite being widely played there, Sony’s move of opening doors to cross-play would somehow be akin to throwing their competitors a lifeline they so desperately need.
But we have a middle-ground solution to all this kerfuffle; perhaps Sony could at least allow the cross-play feature with the Nintendo Switch? The Vita is clearly out of the picture when it comes to portable consoles market and doing so might just win them some points back from the gaming community, right?
What do you think of this cross-play issue? Do you agree with what Sony has been up to, or do you think they should be a bit more lenient with their policies? Sound off in the comments section below as usual.