By Matthew Hayes
– March 22, 2018
The folks at EPIC Games have undertaken a massive project, attempting to make a game that can run on any platform — absolutely any platform — and offer players everywhere a high-end mutliplayer gaming experience. That game, of course, is Fortnite, and in a recent interview with GamesIndustry, Tim Sweeney stated that he believes it’s only a matter of time before the walls that separate players on PlayStation and Xbox come tumbling down. Those divides, in this day and age, simply don’t make sense, according to Sweeney.
He believes that dissolution of barriers between Xbox and PlayStation will be one of the most significant events in the industry’s history. “I think it’s inevitable now,” he says. “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.”
He uses the word “inevitably,” which we admire. It means that he has full confidence that this will happen soon, and that Fortnite may be the catalyst. If and when it does happen, Fortnite could be the first truly omni-platform game. “I can’t imagine anything better for console industry growth than having this new generation of kids, growing up with hand-me-down Android and iOS devices and learning to play games there, getting into Fortnite and having a fun experience [on mobile] but wanting to play on their TV with more precise controls and better visual experience, and feeling the next generation of upgrades to PlayStations and Xboxes.”
We are very much in support of this dream, and we hope that Sony will come to its senses. At this point it’s pretty clear that Sony what’s holding back the realization of true cross-platform gameplay, as Xbox exec Phil Spencer has gone on record multiple times stating that he’d be elated for this to happen.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed, and keep some pressure on Sony.