Sony has made it quite apparent in the past that crossplay between consoles online is not something they’re up for. When questioned on it in the past, we’ve only had vague responses leading to little conclusion.
It would likely be down to investors making the decision. On a larger scale, if one's friend group all invests in a PS4 instead of multiple platforms – more money for them. But Epic Games “accidentally” forgot to add a line of code prohibiting cross platform play. It was as easy as that.
For a brief few hours, PS4 players were indeed playing alongside Xbox One players in Fortnite. The “bug” has now been resolved by Epic Games and the crossplay feature across consoles is no more. Ironic, considering how crossplay is possible between PS4 and PC.
A player named PRE_-CISION-_ was contacted by Kotaku on Reddit to discover how crossplay was suddenly a thing. He explains “I noticed the gamer tag of this dude had a space in it, which was bizarre. I figured it was just the game glitching out so I searched for his tag with an underscore on Playstation Network without any luck.”
We’re left wondering whether this was a little gaming activism on Epic’s part.
While Sony’s insistence on keeping out of the crossplay game remains officially unclear, Xbox head Phil Spencer has said “I would have liked to see them leave it on”. Which is hardly surprising as Spencer has always advocated for crossplay. He has even attempted negotiations with Sony on several occasions, only to be turned down every time.
Earlier this year, there were talks of making Minecraft unified across all console platforms. But Sony stepped in again to prevent the deal from going ahead. We’re left wondering what will happen when a major developer decides to play hardball with Sony over the issue.