Will Overwatch be the next game to join the cross-platform club play? Blizzard Creative Director Jeff Kaplan hinted at just that in a recent issue of games magazine, but will Sony and the PlayStation 4 play with Microsoft and the Xbox One?
Cross-platform play between consoles and the PC have become increasingly more common as games from Rocket League to Fortnite to the upcoming State of Decay 2 support it. Overwatch skipped the opportunity when the game was released in 2016 as the game’s official Twitter account explained Blizzard would keep an eye on the play between consoles but mixing controllers with mice and keyboard would have balance and competitive issues.
Fortnite: Battle Royale, in particular, has had success with a mobile release that allows players with cell phones or tablets to play with those on consoles and PCs. It has been a huge hit thus far and part of the explosive growth of the game in recent months.
Kaplan and Blizzard appear keenly aware of the success of Fortnite and what it portends for the future of gaming.
“Fortnite and PUBG recently made a huge impact on gaming by having cross-platform experiences that spanned the PC, consoles, and mobile,” Kaplan told games (via WccfTech).
“Cross-platform experiences, especially in social games or games with persistent progression, are very exciting.”
“I hope to see platforms open up and embrace the way players want to play more,” the Blizzard Creative Director continued.
“The technology and the desire exist. I believe it would be beneficial to everyone to open platforms up more to bring players together. So I’m definitely hoping for more cross-platform opportunities.”
Interestingly, it is only the Sony and the PlayStation 4 that comes with cross-platform play restrictions, currently. Microsoft has made it well known it is now open to allowing games on the Xbox One to play with the PC, mobile, and even Nintendo Switch. Meanwhile, Sony is more than happy to support PlayStation 4 cross-play with the PC and mobile devices but has been extremely reticent when it comes to its console competitors.
It was only this past September when a Fortnite “configuration issue” allowed PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players to play together. It was only happenstance that players realized the mistake and no major issues were reported with the gameplay. This severely weakened Sony’s argument as it exposed the complete lack of technical limitations to supporting cross-platform play and demonstrated the limitation is solely a business decision on the part of the PS4 manufacturer.