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'I think it’s in everyone’s interest to support interoperability (cross-play)', says Epic's Tim Sweeney

The best friendships are built on respect, loyalty, compatibility, and your ability to not lose the plot with your pals when they cost you umpteen Victory Royales because, seriously, they can't craft Fortnite defences to save themselves. Deep breath. 

I can just about manage that with my Xbox-dwelling friends courtesy of cross-play in Epic Games' battle royale 'em up—which is something company CEO Tim Sweeney reckons is more important now than ever.

"I think it’s in everyone’s interest to support interoperability," Sweeney tells Glixel. "Whatever the history, it’s really in gamers’ interest to play with all of their friends. Gamers who play with their friends spend more and are more engaged."

At present, Fortnite can be cross-played between PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4 and now mobile (iOS for now) in various configurations. Sweeney bills perceived "traditional" divides as hurtful to the industry. 

Sweeney tells Glixel: "With a game like Fortnite, in middle schools you have classrooms who play together. That traditional divide between PlayStation and Xbox owners doesn’t need to be there… It’s an amazing thing. Sony and Microsoft honor purchases in Fortnite made on an iOS platform, or on their platform. In that way all of these platforms are working together."

Fortnite is more popular now than it's ever been—rap star Drake partnered with popular streamer Ninja recently, for example, while over one million people tuned into this YouTube stream.

Would it have found such success had it been gated behind its Save the World counterpart? Who knows, but it's worth pointing out Fortnite Battle Royale was developed in just two months, and wasn't originally free-to-play.