Cross-Play appears poised to be a defining feature of next-gen alongside backwards compatibility, if Sony is willing to play ball that is.
That said, while most gamers are excited to finally reunite with their friends on other platforms and developers of big multiplayer games are looking forward to not having player bases split across multiple systems, some devs are trepidatious about the cross-play future.
Speaking to GamingBolt, Nine Dots Studio CEO, Guillaume Boucher-Vidal, believes cross-play could hurt and hinder small multiplayer indies. More specifically, with cross-play enabled, big multiplayer games can only get bigger, which means less crumbs of the pie for smaller games and smaller developers.
“While I think it’s nice for players to be able to play together no matter the platform, I predict that this will make big games bigger and leave even less room for the smaller games to find their audience,” said Boucher-Vidal. “There can only be so many multiplayer games that are highly active at the same time due to the network effect. If all platforms share the same ecosystem, the number of commercially viable multiplayer games might diminish.”
Boucher-Vidal makes a valid point, but this downside of cross-play is more disruptive to small developers than the consumer. Good, small multiplayer games will continue to rise up the market and have their share, it's just not going to happen as often. And this is bad news for indie developers who want to make a multiplayer game, and will likely mean less multiplayer games in the market. However, this will hurt big multiplayer games just as much smaller ones, as only the good will rise to the top. And so for the consumer -- nothing really changes. They will still be playing the cream of the crop, but now just with more people.0comments
But again, I wouldn't be surprised if we see less multiplayer indie games going forward, because the market will be even tighter as the biggest games get bigger and take up more space.
What do you think? Is this a legitimate downside of cross-play? Sound off in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @Tyler_Fischer_ and let me know there.