New confidential documents and emails have revealed that Sony is the only platform holder that requires Epic to pay compensation for crossplay, which originally happened in 2018. According to The Verge, Epic Games had to agree to pay additional fees in order to enable crossplay in Fortnite.
In 2018, Epic Games had initially pleaded with Sony to enable crossplay. In the Epic Games v. Apple case reveal, Epic Games business development vice president said:
“I can’t think of a scenario where Epic doesn’t get what we want – that possibility went out the door when Fortnite became the biggest game on PlayStation.”
“We announce crossplay in conjunction with Sony.
Epic goes out of its way to make Sony look like heroes.
Let’s make this a huge win for us all. Epic’s not changing it’s mind on the issue, so let’s just agree on it now.”
However, Sony didn’t agree. In 2019, a document titled “cross-platform policy, requirements, and process” reveals how Sony accepts crossplay with a caveat; by imposing a cross-platform revenue share and forcing publishers to pay Sony a royalty whenever PlayStation players contribute more than a certain percentage to the bottom line of a cross-platform game.
The purpose of this is apparently to “offset the reduction in revenue” from Sony enabling crossplay.
In new testimony, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney said:
“In certain circumstances Epic will have to pay additional revenue to Sony.
If somebody were primarily playing on PlayStation, but paying on iPhone then this might trigger compensation.”
In the same policy, Sony demands that publishers can’t transfer virtual currency to or from PlayStation and that there must be a setting to disable all cross-platform interactions.