The time it took for cross-platform multiplayer on PlayStation consoles or the statements made by Sony pundits about this system have clearly shown the Japanese manufacturer’s reluctance to allow PlayStation players to play with or against users of the game. ‘other machines. And as new evidence shows, Sony did not end up allowing this practice out of sheer kindness.
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The site The Verge managed to get hold of confidential documents containing changes between Epic Games and Sony regarding the activation of cross-platform multiplayer in the PS4 version of Fortnite. Sony, which had previously refused to enable such a feature in other games such as Rocket League or Minecraft, was totally opposed to the idea of allowing multi-cross-platform.
Joe Kreiner, the vice president in charge of business development at Epic Games, had contacted Sony saying that given the success of Fortnite, he said the “biggest game on PlayStation, “he was unthinkable according to him”that Epic doesn’t get what he wants, “namely the activation of the cross-platform on PS4.
In order to help pass the pill, this same Joe Kreiner had made a list of Sony proposals ranging from a crossplay announcement made jointly with the Japanese manufacturer “to make Sony look like heroes, “an extension of the license to use Unreal Engine 4 to all of Sony, including the promise to offer a launch game on the PlayStation VR 2 (a screenshot of the email is available in our gallery below).
Despite these offers, Sony was clearly not convinced. Indeed, Gio Corsi, senior director of relations with developers at PlayStation at the time, replied to this email:
Cross-platform play is not a hit, no matter the size of the title. As you know, there are many companies currently exploring this idea and none of them is able to explain how cross-console gaming is improving the business of PlayStation.
The Verge indicates that the emails to which it had access do not show how Sony and Epic ended up coming to an agreement. On the other hand, an official confidential document also relayed by The Verge (and also available in our gallery below) shows that Sony has implemented a system called “Cross-Platform Revenue Share.”
No mercy for crossplay
To activate the cross-platform on the PlayStation version of a game, the publisher must first agree to share the usage data for that same game. If it turns out that the share of revenue generated via the PSN by this game compared to the percentage of use of the PlayStation version of the same game falls below a certain threshold once the cross-platform has been authorized, the publisher must then pay Sony royalties in order to “compensate for the decrease in revenue.”
Doubt as to the authenticity of these documents is not allowed. Indeed, during his testimony in the context of the lawsuit between Epic Games Apple, Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, confirmed that Sony is demanding financial damages in exchange for the activation of cross-platform multiplayer:
In some cases, Epic must pay additional Sony amounts. If someone mainly plays on PlayStation but spends their money on iPhone, then this may cause compensation.
This same Tim Sweeney reveals that his company has accepted these conditions imposed by Sony. The great popularity of Fortnite and the demands of players and the industry ended up making the Japanese manufacturer give in on the subject of cross-platform multiplayer. However, the facts have shown that Sony did not accept the offers originally made by Epic and discussed above. Sony succeeded in imposing its conditions. And as Tim Sweeney points out, Sony is the only platform manager to impose financial compensation in exchange for the activation of this feature.
What do you think of these revelations? Do they surprise you? Or do you find that they are consistent with Sony’s general attitude? Do you think that Sony is in its right? Was Epic right to give in? Tell us all in the comments below.