Bethesda pressures Sony with "non-negotiable" cross-platform demand

Elder Scrolls Online Wolfhunter DLC Releasing Next Week

In an interview with Game Informer, Bethesda senior vice president of marketing and communications Pete Hines was pretty clear in saying that The Elder Scrolls: Legends won't launch on consoles that don't allow cross-platform functionality. PS4 owners also couldn't play with people who owned those consoles, either, which effectively separated them from other console players. The company now allows game developers to offer cross-platform play between iOS, Android, PC, and Mac on games like Fortnite, but draws the line at letting players compete with or share progression on Xbox One or Nintendo Switch.

"It is our intention in order for the game to come out, it has to [have full cross-platform support] on any system", Hines said. We can not have a game that works one way across everywhere else except for on this one thing. After all, Sony is the only one that has been resistant to cross-platform capabilities in other games, so it sounds like The Elder Scrolls: Legends might not get a PS4 version if Sony continues to block other platforms out. "That is counter to what the game has been about", Hines told Game Informer.

Cross-play is a major topic in the games industry right now, helped in no small part by Fortnite and the fact that its PS4 version isn't compatible with other platforms.

As we've discussed previously on Ars, Sony's walled-garden approach arguably makes some sense as a way to exploit the competitive advantage of its larger console player base.

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Sony has been quite stagnant when it comes to cross-platform support for online games like Rocket League and Fortnite. Sony initially evaded questions about its policies by bragging about how many PS4s it's sold, but as the complaints kept coming, the company said it was "looking at a lot of the possibilities" for cross-play.

It seems Bethesda is growing exhausted of Sony's antics now, though. When asked earlier this year about cross-play for Fallout 76, Howard said Sony was "not as helpful as everyone would like".

Bethesda, the video game studio behind the Elder Scrolls and Fallout franchises, is trying to convince Sony to add cross-play, and it may hold one of its games hostage until the PlayStation manufacturer does.

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