As the gaming industry continues to grow, gamers want their experiences to last longer. Publishers have only been happy to oblige, as DLC and expanded online features grow in prominence. Another area in which publishers can increase the longevity of their titles is cross-play. In an interview with Windows Central, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege director Leroy Athanassof told the outlet about Ubisoft's cross-play plans between hardware generations. At launch, Siege players will be able to play between PS4 and PS5, or Xbox One and Xbox Series X. Whether or not players will be able to do so between Sony and Microsoft systems, however, seems to be in the hands of those respective companies.
"...this is more a discussion between Microsoft and Sony. We would love to be fully cross-play — have Xbox players matchmaking against the PlayStation players. We are ready to support that. And hopefully, this will happen because as I said, it's a general move in the industry, and there is nothing that can prevent that. It's just a matter of time before it happens."
Cross-play has been a hot-button topic throughout the current console generation. While Microsoft was quick to embrace cross-play, Sony has been less inclined to do so without outside pressure. Still, cross-play between PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch has slowly come to games like Minecraft, and will likely continue in the future.
Despite Sony's past hesitations, cross-play makes sense from a financial standpoint. By allowing gamers to play with or against one another on various consoles and PC, publishers are greatly expanding the pool of online players available, and that can only serve to maintain interest. Theoretically, this will increase the longevity of games, allowing buyers to feel more secure in their purchase of the games themselves, not to mention add-ons like DLC. With the short attention span of consumers, anything that keeps people playing and forming emotional investments in their games can only be a good thing.
In addition to cross-play, Ubisoft is also apparently looking into cross-platform progression, as well. Cross-platform progression would allow Siege players to keep their progress in one version and migrate it to another. While less common than cross-play, it has been growing in popularity. Most recently, the Nintendo Switch version of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has allowed players to cross-save with the Steam and GOG.com versions of the game. Allowing Siege players to do something similar would be a smart way to get players to upgrade when the game launches alongside PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X later this year.
Have you played Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege? Are you happy to hear Ubisoft's comments on cross-play and cross-saves? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!