Hi-Rez Studios' president and CEO called out Sony and PlayStation and said "it's time to stop playing favorites" and stated his case for why cross-play should be enabled for all compatible games.
A long-time opposer to cross-play between the PlayStation 4 and other consoles like the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, Sony changed its stance last year by first allowing Fortnite players to try out cross-play through a beta test. Rocket League followed Fortnite to gain the same feature, both of those games' creators being vocal supporters of cross-play. Hi-Rez has spoken about cross-play in the past as well with the studio's members saying Sony "wasn't keen" on cross-play, and the process appears to be moving too slowly for Hi-Rez Studios' Stewart Chisam.
The president and CEO of the studio responsible for Smite, Paladins, and Realm Royale tweeted to both Sony and PlayStation and called for the parties to "tear down the crossplay/progression wall for everyone." Chisam even included a video of Ronald Reagan's "tear down this wall" speech which called for the Berlin Wall to be torn down.
Hey @Sony @PlayStation. It's time to stop playing favorites and tear down the crossplay/progression wall for everyone. We have @SMITEGame, @PaladinsGame, @RealmRoyale ready to go when you are. //t.co/KNDetpXPf5— HiRezStew (@schisam) February 8, 2019
Following that tweet, Chisam shared another which showed some of Hi-Rez Studios' data and how the cross-play feature in Paladins had affected the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch versions. Bad matches were less common, according to the data, with players also able to get into the games quicker among other improvements.
Xplay improves match quality in multiplayer games. When we added crossplay between Paladins Xbox and Switch:— HiRezStew (@schisam) February 8, 2019
>> Wait time reduced 30%
>> Level spread between players down 40%
>> 40% reduction in ELO std deviation per match
>> 80% reduction in "Bad" matches (by our internal defn)
Hi-Rez Studios' games offer cross-play and cross-progressions support between many platforms like the Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC platforms, but the PlayStation 4 so far isn't included. In what's likely not a coincidence, the official Smite Twitter account re-shared an FAQ regarding cross-play for the MOBA following Chisam's tweets. Hi-Rez Studios executive producer Chris Larson, the individual who spoke about Sony not being keen on the feature, echoed Chisam's comments and said both Sony and PlayStation are putting the team at a "competitive disadvantage" and is also hurting their own players.
Hi-Rez Studios announced back in November that it would be adding cross-play support and progression to its three main games, Smite and Paladins getting those features in "mid-to-late January" and Realm Royale getting it on the day-one release.