Cross-play is a new buzzword that’s being thrown around the gaming sphere lately, it’s a revelation and definitely something that benefits everyone in the gaming world. However, despite the dream of a gaming utopia where everyone can play together regardless of the platform used is still miles away. There is a list of games that are in-need of cross-play, Fallout 76 was definitely one of them.
A Brave New World
Bethesda is doing something pretty new with their latest post-apocalyptic action-RPG; it’s a multiplayer online game that leans more towards the traditions of Fallout instead of going towards a more traditional MMORPG experience. Fallout 76 basically takes everything you loved about Fallout 4 and just open it up to multiple players across the world. Unlike Elder Scrolls: Online, which was just a basic MMO with an Elder Scrolls theme on it.
As such, Fallout 76 is poised to be the next great online multiplayer game similar to Destiny. Though unlike Destiny, they wanted to make the game cross-play and accessible to everyone. It would have made sense in the context of the game as everyone is playing a wanderer in a post-apocalyptic world, fighting over lands and resources. Why can’t Xbox One players, PC gamers, and PS4 owners play together? But alas, in the words of Todd Howard: “Sony is not as helpful as everyone would like.”
Not Playing Nice
Sony has been getting a lot of slack about this for quite a while now. The biggest console in the world is just not going to open its doors to other systems, unless it’s an exclusive. Street Fighter V is the biggest example of this. On consoles it’s exclusively on the PS4 and it supports cross-play to PC versions of the game, and that’s it. For now there isn’t going to be an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch version of Street Fighter V, so owners of those two systems will have to make do with the 30th Anniversary collection that has every game up to IV.
Things became really heated when it came to a few big multiplayer titles opening up to cross-play. Rocket League was one of the first, allowing for players on the PC, Xbox One, and Switch versions to seamlessly play the game with each other. PlayStation was a glaring omission.
One of the biggest games in the world, Minecraft, even poked fun at the whole Sony debacle early this year. With a video showing off Switch and Xbox players playing the game together, and also with their respective Twitter accounts poking fun on the matter, while Sony is left to build alone.
The final straw came when Fortnite allowed for cross-platform play between Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, IOS, and Android. This time PlayStation was also up for cross-play, but only with PCs, Macs, and mobile devices. Sony was very adamant on not allowing cross-play between their console and the consoles of their two competitors.
Crossing Out Fallout 76
As such, Fallout 76 is the latest casualty in this cross-platform war. It may not be on as many devices as Fortnite, but it definitely could have been so much more if it was opened up for cross-play. Bethesda is still hoping to get some of their games on the cross-play train, and at the very least, another one of their IPs will be getting some cross-play love.
The Elder Scrolls Legends, a tactical card-game based on the series, is being released sometime this year for Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. Bethesda was adamant on making sure it is cross-platform, which spells trouble for the PS4 release of the game. Bethesda has stated that they won’t accept anything else, cross-play has been integrated with the gameplay of Elder Scrolls Legends, with players being able to bring their deck of cards around between systems, allowing for an immersive, digital trading card game experience. Unless Sony loosens their grip on cross-play, they may justy lose out on this game.
Overall, it is a tricky matter, but it's definitely not impossible. Epic Games showed off last year that it is totally possible to integrate cross-platform with just a few lines of code. It is Sony that is stuck in the dark ages. They may be the best selling console of this generation, but as they say, it is lonely at the top.