Sony has charged developers for the use of cross-play, new documents in the Epic Games vs Apple lawsuit have revealed.
Sony had blocked cross-platform play, which allows people to play the same video game together on different platforms, in the past for titles including Minecraft and Rocket League. Both those titles feature Xbox and Nintendo Switch cross-play capabilities.
There are rumours that new emails and documents in the court case have revealed the extent to which Sony has been against the possibility of cross-play for Epic’s game Fortnite. Sony eventually allowed it for Fortnite in 2018. Joe Kreiner — Epic’s vice president of business development — wrote an email to Sony proposing that cross-play would be “a huge win for us all”. He also wrote:
“We announce cross-play in conjunction with Sony. Epic goes out of its way to make Sony look like Heroes.”
Gio Corsi, who was Sony’s senior director of developer relations at the time, wrote:
“cross-platform not a slam dunk no matter the size of the title. As you know, many companies are exploring this idea and not a single one can explain how cross-console play improves the PlayStation business”.
Tim Sweeney, Epic Games CEO, has confirmed as part of his testimony on May 2, 2021, that Sony is the only platform holder that requires compensation for cross-play, backing up a document from August 2019 that was included in the evidence for the court case.
There is no confirmation that Sony ultimately followed these policy outlines, and currently, Sony supports cross-play for a handful of titles including Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone, Minecraft, and recent release MLB The Show 21, which was the first Sony published game to launch on Game Pass.