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Todd Howard not being straight up about cross-play, using Sony as scapegoat


The ongoing story of Sony’s unwillingness to allow cross-play continues with Fallout 76. However, things aren’t as clear as they seem.


Todd Howard, Bethesda Studio’s pride and joy, was recently interviewed by German website GameStar.de, and he had a few statements concerning whether we’d see cross-play in the upcoming Fallout 76. “You cannot do cross-play in 76,” were his first words, along with “We’d love that but right now we can’t.” When GameStar further pressed the question, Todd responded with “Sony is not as helpful as everyone would like,”

Look, I believe that Sony is being stubborn when it comes to cross-play, but I don’t think it’s fair for Todd Howard to use Sony as a scapegoat for the lack of cross-play in Fallout 76.  Bethesda Studios is entirely capable of fostering cross-play between PC and Xbox One players, games such as Fortnite, Rocket League, Gears of War 4, Forza 7, and even Final Fantasy XV already allow it. Unfortunately, Todd wasn’t questioned in regards to cross-play between Xbox One and PC, so there’s still a chance we’ll see it implemented post-launch.

Regardless of what he said, Todd’s comments further echo what we’ve heard about Sony’s stance on cross-play in the past. Especially those from John Smedley, former head of Sony Online Entertainment. A couple of weeks ago, John had this to say “btw when I was at Sony, the stated reason internally for this was money. They didn’t like someone buying something on an Xbox and it being used on a PlayStation. simple as that. dumb reason, but there it is.” John also suggested that the solution to this problem is to simply keep the conversation going.

In a generation where we’re seeing cross-play between Microsoft and Nintendo (who woulda’ thunk), it’s certainly disappointing to see that Sony is still against allowing their player base to join in on the fun. However, things may begin to change sooner rather than later.

Eurogamer had the chance to speak to Shawn Layden, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, and he had some things to say concerning the future of cross-play, most notably “I’m confident we’ll get to a solution which will be understood and accepted by our gaming community,” followed by “While at the same time supporting our business.”

So, it definitely seems like John was onto something when he said that keeping the pressure up would help make Sony’s current stance on cross-play into an issue of the past.

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While there’s a slew of titles that have brought the idea of crossplay to the forefront (such as Rocket League and Minecraft), it’s Fortnite that’s really rallied players across various platforms to champion the idea of cross-play. I myself firmly believe that Sony is fighting a losing battle, and I’m sure we’ll see them engage in cross-play by the end of 2018. Until that time comes, we hope you’ll join us in keeping the conversation going.