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Sony insists it really likes crossplay now, honest

The Playstation logo.
(Image credit: Sony)

In the increasingly common trend of adding crossplay to every multiplayer game under the sun, Sony has been the one major company to drag its feet on supporting the popular feature. This was seized upon most notably by Microsoft, who now enjoys telling everyone how much it loves crossplay and wishes Sony loved it as much as it does.

Thanks to recent court filings, Sony's reasons for the apprehension have become clearer. Documents released as part of the ongoing Epic vs Apple legal saga showed that Sony's crossplay compliance came with a special royalty that game publishers have to pay up. Basically, Sony wants to ensure that PlayStation players aren't running off to spend their money on other platforms while still relying on Sony's servers/infrastructure to actually play the game.

That demand for a revenue cut is potentially why, last month, Borderlands 3 announced it would now support crossplay—except on Playstation. This was a pretty public calling out of Sony, and the situation there remains murky. 

Despite the abnormal royalty policy, Playstation CEO Jim Ryan recently told Axios that he wants PlayStation to support crossplay in more games going forward. "We support and encourage cross-play," Ryan said, citing various titles that currently support the feature and others, such as Destiny 2, which will soon introduce it. "That number will continue to grow" he added.

Ryan was asked about last month's snub from Gearbox and said he didn't want to discuss a "live business issue with a long-standing partner," but added that "our policies are consistent across all of the publishers."

Rich Stanton

Rich was raised by a Spectrum 48K in the Scottish wilderness, and this early exposure to survival mechanics made him a rooter-out of the finest news truffles, and suspicious of all the soft, civilised Amiga people. These days he mostly plays Counter-Strike and Rocket League, and is good at one of them. He's also the author of a Brief History of Video Games.