Bethesda says PS4 cross-play is ‘non-negotiable’ for The Elder Scrolls: Legends

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Games publishing giant Bethesda has placed increased pressure on Sony to support cross-play on its PlayStation 4 console.

In a recent interview with Game Informer, Bethesda senior VP Pete Hines warned that cross-play between all platforms is “essentially non-negotiable” for the console versions of its The Elder Scrolls: Legends card game.

“It is our intention in order for the game to come out, it has to [have full cross-platform support] on any system,” Hines said. “We cannot have a game that works one way across everywhere else except for on this one thing.”

“Those [terms] are essentially non-negotiable,” Hines said later in the interview. “We can’t be talking about one version of Legends, where you take your progress with you, and another version where you stay within that ecosystem or its walled off from everything else. That is counter to what the game has been about.”

While not specifically mentioning Sony, it’s clear that Hines is referring to the Japanese tech giant when he talks about all consoles. Presumably, Hines is stating that Legends — and possibly future Bethesda games — will not launch on PS4 should cross-play continue to be unsupported on the platform.

Sony has been criticized for over a year now for not offering cross-play support on its PlayStation 4 console, especially when its major console competitors have been doing so all the while. Further fuel has been added to the fire after multiplayer sensation Fortnite launched on the Nintendo Switch in June.

Users soon discovered that they couldn’t even access their Fortnite accounts when trying to log in on because Sony was locking their profiles to the PlayStation 4.

Fortnite currently supports cross-play between Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and mobile, as does Microsoft’s massively popular building game Minecraft. Vehicular soccer game Rocket League will also add cross-play support between consoles and PC later this summer. Throughout all of this, Microsoft and Nintendo have even teamed up on social media to promote their support for cross-play.

Sony, meanwhile, has repeatedly defended its lack of support for cross-play.

In a June 2017 interview with Eurogamer, PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan said the company doesn’t hold a “profound philosophical stance” against the concept of cross-play. Instead, Ryan said that Sony has to be “mindful of [its] responsibility to [its] install base” when considering support of cross-play.

“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,” Ryan told Eurogamer. “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.”

During this year’s Electronics Entertainment Expo, a Sony spokesperson said the company has built a large community of over 80 million PS4 owners to play Fortnite with one another. The spokesperson also mentioned that it supports cross-play with PC and mobile.

But it was former head of Sony Online Entertainment John Smedley who spoke out in June 2018 to directly address why Sony doesn’t want cross-play on other platforms. “btw when I was at Sony, the stated reason internally for this was money,” Smedley wrote in a since-deleted tweet.

“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.”

Later that month, Shawn Layden, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, said the company is “hearing” the concerns regarding a lack of PS4 cross-play and is “looking at a lot of the possibilities” in bringing support to the platform.

Via: Business Insider