A Plea From a Sony Fanboy for Cross-play
It's no secret that Sony has taken some heat for their refusal to allow cross-platform play on games such as Rocket League and, more recently, Fortnite. When players began to realize their Fortnite accounts were completely locked once they signed in on the PS4, Sony's response was less than stellar to say the least. You can read their full response by clicking here but to sum it up they basically said "Why do you need to play anywhere other than PS4?" This type of tone deaf response sends shivers down my spine. All I can think of is flashbacks to the utter debacle that was the PS3 at launch. Sony has made tremendous strides throughout the life cycle of PS4. The thought of regressing to their stubborn ways is worrisome for many longtime fans and supporters. Over the past couple days we have been given a small glimpse of hope that Sony is smartening up. CEO Shawn Layden was recently asked about the Fortnite issue and responded with a much better statement than Sony's original response, though it still leaves a lot to be desired.
“We’re hearing it,” Shawn Layden, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, told a Eurogamer reporter whose question indicated the company hadn’t been listening to players on this issue. “We’re looking at a lot of the possibilities. You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game. I’m confident we’ll get to a solution which will be understood and accepted by our gaming community, while at the same time supporting our business.”
While this response certainly will not satisfy the player base, it does provide the smallest, and only, glimpse of cross-platform play hope that Sony supporters have been clamoring for. What stuck out to me most was the phrase "We're hearing it." With that in mind, I have some words that I'd like you to hear Mr. Layden.
I've been a Sony Fanboy since the first day I booted up a disc on the original Sony Playstation. Whether it was hours sneaking around as Solid Snake, bouncing off boxes as Crash Bandicoot, or raiding all types of tombs as Lara Croft, I've loved my time with all of Sony's systems. There were certainly some dark times such as the woeful launch of the PS3... I mean seriously man, all we had to play was Warhawk for the longest time and that sucked. But alas, I stuck by your wonderful team even after the outrageous 22 day PSN outage. I never jumped ship. My loyalty never wavered. I knew that deep down you all were capable of producing some of the best experiences in gaming.
My loyalty has been rewarded with the outstanding PS4. I've learned about the harsh lessons of parenthood with Kratos. I've seen Nathan Drake grow from a fearless treasure hunter to a grounded family man. I've walked side by side with Aloy as we battled giant, robot dinosaurs. All of it has been excellent and experiences I literally couldn't have had anywhere else. All of these experiences are exactly why you should all feel confident in allowing cross-platform play.
I promise you that your player base will not decrease. As long as your studios keep pumping out these instant classics there will always be a demand for Sony consoles. All you would be doing is allowing your loyal supporters the opportunity to enjoy multiplayer games with our friends who have decided those classic experiences aren't for them. Maybe, just maybe, the cross-play will actually attract more people into the Sony camp. Now I know I might sound a little crazy here, but there is a chance that people will look at this and say, "Well now I can play all these awesome exclusives AND I can still play with my friends on Xbox, PC, and Switch." Then bing, bang, boom you just got yourself a new customer. I know, I know, it's a genius idea but don't worry, I won't charge you for this one.
In closing, Shawn, I love what you all do. You've provided countless hours, days, weeks, months, and years of enjoyment for myself and millions of other people. Give us this one, buddy. Give us this small little gesture to not only say "we're hearing it," but also "we're doing something about it."
Playstation Fanboy circa 1997