Developers at Epic Games are hard at work as one of the leaders in a new era of gaming — one where the same high-end games are playable across all platforms without barriers and restrictions. Epic’s multiplayer shooter, Fortnite, has been built to run on every major platform — including PS4, Xbox One, PC, and mobile — and doing so was no easy task. While there is still a barrier between Xbox and PlayStation users, Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney thinks that divide will disappear in a matter of time.
In an interview with GamesIndustry, Sweeney pointed out mobile gaming’s shift from purely casual games to AAA titles, such as Fortnite and PUBG. What’s more, those who play Fortnite on mobile can play with their friends on other platforms instead of being limited to purely mobile users. Cross-play is available between almost every platform Fortnite is on, except Xbox One and PS4. Sweeney thinks that will definitely change soon.
“I think it’s inevitable now,” said Sweeney. “Games have become social experiences in the same way that Facebook or Twitter have, and these experiences only really make sense if gamers can communicate with all of their friends. For Sony and Microsoft to support their customers well they have to be open to all their customer’s friends – their real world friends – otherwise they’re breaking up real-world social groups. Like kids in school have their friends, and do you expect this platform schism to divide them into two separate groups that can’t play together? No. It’s got to come together now. That one remaining barrier will inevitably come down.”
Sweeney’s confidence in the inevitability of Xbox and PlayStation cross-play is refreshing, and it points to Fortnite and the folks at Epic Games paving the way for the establishment of true omnidirectional cross-play. While Sony has historically refused to allow this connection, Microsoft — namely Phil Spencer — have been vocally supportive of allowing cross-play with PlayStation consoles. Hopefully Fortnite will be a catalyst in this cross-play formation players are begging for.