There were two huge cross-platform games announced recently. For the first time ever, Minecraft is going to be available to play cross-platform between PC, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch players. Rocket League has been cross-platform for some time now, but the PlayStation 4 has been in its own little corner, and apparently Sony has refused to get involved in the cross-platform frivolities. Fans demanded to know why, and we finally have our answer.
Eurogamer reached out to Sony's Jim Ryan to confront him directly about PlayStation not being included in these exciting, newly-unified games. His reasoning is... not that sound. Here's the exchange:
Eurogamer: Minecraft works cross-platform between Switch, Xbox and PC. Today, Rocket League was announced as working cross-platform between Switch, Xbox and PC. Both don't work cross-platform with PlayStation. Now, is this Sony not playing ball? What is actually going on here?
Jim Ryan: It's certainly not a profound philosophical stance we have against this. We've done it in the past. We're always open to conversations with any developer or publisher who wants to talk about it. Unfortunately it's a commercial discussion between ourselves and other stakeholders, and I'm not going to get into the detail of that on this particular instance. And I can see your eyes rolling.
Eurogamer: Well, you must see that PlayStation owners are upset. They want to play with Switch owners, PC owners and Xbox One owners for these two big and important games, and they don't have an explanation for why. That's what I'm getting at, really.
Jim Ryan: Yeah. We've got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base. Minecraft - the demographic playing that, you know as well as I do, it's all ages but it's also very young. We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe. Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it's something we have to think about very carefully.
Eurogamer: It doesn't seem to be a problem for Nintendo, perhaps the most mindful video game company of the protection of children.
Jim Ryan: Yeah, that's true. Everybody has to take their own decisions. We'll do that. Like I say, we have no philosophical stance against cross-play at all.
Eurogamer: Is this a done deal? Or are you leaving the door open, perhaps?
Jim Ryan: I don't think anything is ever a done deal. Anybody who is dogmatic in that manner is typically a fool. That said, to my knowledge, there is no live conversation ongoing at the moment.
Well there you have it. Sony would love to discuss cross-platform play for Rocket League and Minecraft but, ultimately, it has to... Protect the children. Okay, Sony. Okay.