Shawn Layden blames publishers and developers for lack of PlayStation crossplay (Up: Wargroove dev Chucklefish responds in thread - "We were told no")

Oct 25, 2017
5,349
Los Angeles
#1
From his interview with Gameinformer

We got to that place in Fortnite and it seems to be going reasonably well, from what I can tell. The Rocket League light up will happen soon. People keep saying, “Why doesn’t Sony allow more people to have it?” We’re open for business on this one. All it takes is for publishers and developers who wish to permission it. As ever, just work with your PlayStation account manager, and they will walk you through the steps that we’ve learned through our partnership with Epic on how this works. I don’t believe right now there is any gating factor on that. I think they’re open to make proposals, because the Fortnite thing worked pretty well.

Mod Edit:
Hi all,

CEO Of Chucklefish here, we just launched Wargroove with crossplay between PC, Switch and Xbox so I wanted to chime in.

We made many requests for crossplay (both through our account manager and directly with higher ups) all the way up until release month. We were told in no uncertain terms that it was not going to happen.

From our side, we can *literally* toggle a switch and have it working. Of course policy work might be more complicated for Sony.

Just wanted to provide some balance on the issue and say that it certainly isn't a question of developers having not contacted their account managers or having dropped the ball. We were told no.
 
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SH-4

Alt account
Member
Aug 11, 2018
175
#5
Um, it was Sony.

Fortnite had accidental crossplay in like 2017 - there was never any problem there.
 
Oct 25, 2017
817
#6
Sony seemed more than open to allowing Switch and PC and mobile play together. I wonder what other big name they decided not to play ball with.
 
Nov 11, 2017
734
#8
Why do they have to go thru all that to do cross play though? Have to hope the account manager answers or not ignore there calls/emails etc. This reminds me of how MS originally handled indie publishing on xbox one.
 
Oct 26, 2017
8,970
#9
Oct 28, 2017
2,233
#10
I'm not sure I buy that response. If it were so easy, why would the devs be tweeting angrily about it in the first place?
 
Nov 23, 2017
2,221
#11
And yet... https://blog.us.playstation.com/201...oss-play-beta-launches-on-ps4-starting-today/



Literally the FIRST line. So is he now saying that it's out of beta and every game can have it or are they still being selective about it?
"Dev who properly goes through the channels I've listed" is different than "all devs," so Layden is still correct. It's not like there aren't layers of bureaucracy , quality control, etc to get a game released in the first place. How is it really different than that
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,940
#12
Oct 25, 2017
11,011
#14
It's easy to say "all they need to do is get in touch with us". It's another thing entirely to get into what their terms are. This all sounds like wheel spinning.
 
Oct 25, 2017
11,011
#24
Also I like how the interview contains additional several instances of the same old deflecting "but you can find a lot of players on Playstation" and "not all of our fans are into crossplay" bullshit.
 
Oct 27, 2017
942
#26
"I don’t believe right now there is any gating factor on that. I think they’re open to make proposals,..."
They're open to it...but only if your proposal is approved. It's progress at least.
 
Mar 23, 2018
1,378
#28
EA said they would like to bring crossplay to their games. I doubt Sony would not pick up the phone whenever EA is calling but there's something a bit odd about EA wanting to see crossplay in games like FIFA, too. I mean, bring it on.
 
Nov 8, 2017
4,293
#29
It's interesting how 2 separate developers are saying something completely different to this...

At least he gets paid to say this nonsense I guess.

Edit: He also seems to make out that cross-play is extremely difficult to implement for Sony by stating the "partnership with Epic" yet Nintendo, who are known for not being great when it comes to networks and online, are able to provide it effortlessly.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
2,683
#33
Except in the paragraphs before it you get the same old deflective crap:
The whole concept of cross-play, or the movement behind it, whatever you want to call it, really got big in our rear-view mirror super-fast....
....We were looking at it, “Fortnite? Rocket League? The biggest communities for those games are here”....
...And, again, the PlayStation community is so large it’s not like you couldn’t fill up a lobby if you wanted to fire up a game...
....Though, if you look at any of the numbers of the actual cross-play population? That Venn diagram isn’t too big....
...We’ve tried to be so good certainly over the last four or five years to be in tune with our fans and to listen to what they want and try to be a friends of the gamer....
and more
This is why Layden shouldn't do PR.
 

Thanatos

Resettlement Advisor
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
229
Montreal
#37
It's interesting how 2 separate developers are saying something completely different to this...

At least he gets paid to say this nonsense I guess.
To be fair, unless these devs come out and say otherwise, no one knows yet when they last contacted their PlayStation account manager (which I do hope they comment on because if it was recent then that is absolutely noteworthy!).

From there, what I know of the process is that there is still questions that need to be answered before the green light is officially given. From what I know of the game development process, I think it's entirely fair to need certain assurances before just enabling something on your platform, no matter how easy it looks.

Either way, I hope the devs comment on it and they can get their issues resolved so that the games can be enabled.
 
Jan 3, 2019
602
#38
I honestly doubt he knows the full innerworkings, and he would no doubt have to go and change it himself. Sure it might be policy but there's probably a handful ruining it for everyone at sony.
 
Oct 30, 2017
206
#39
Either he doesn't know that people under him are not allowing developers other than select few to have cross play or he is just plain lying. I really don't see why this is as big an issue as it needs to be. This could really benefit those smaller games that have low populations to have access to many more people to matchmake against.

Except in the paragraphs before it you get the same old deflective crap:

This is why Layden shouldn't do PR.
This really rubs me the wrong way. Of course the amount of people using cross play would be small when you have only enabled two games to have cross play enabled. And sure the playstation community is the largest of the console market but hey i still have trouble finding matches on some games on my PS4 that would benefit from corss play Shawn.
 
Nov 8, 2017
4,293
#40
To be fair, unless these devs come out and say otherwise, no one knows yet when they last contacted their PlayStation account manager (which I do hope they comment on because if it was recent then that is absolutely noteworthy!).

From there, what I know of the process is that there is still questions that need to be answered before the green light is officially given. From what I know of the game development process, I think it's entirely fair to need certain assurances before just enabling something on your platform, no matter how easy it looks.

Either way, I hope the devs comment on it and they can get their issues resolved so that the games can be enabled.
With regards to HI-Rez I would assume it was recently as they are only just implementing cross-play/progression patches into their games now.

The only assurances are if it will affect them $$$-wise, oh and I guess we should also think about the children.

I would also think that the technological assurances will already be met because it works fine on the other consoles? It doesn't takes months and months to check these things.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
1,311
#41
Yep. I smell shenanigans. Nintendo, MS, PC, Apple, Android can get games crossplay on day 1 with no fuss. It’s Sony making it more difficult.

Nintendo’s online is mediocre but in this one issue it runs rings around Sony.
 

Thanatos

Resettlement Advisor
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
229
Montreal
#42
With regards to HI-Rez I would assume it was recently as they are only just implementing their cross-play/progression patches into their games now.

The only assurances are if it will affect them $$$-wise, oh and I guess we should also think about the children.

I would also think that the technological assurances will already be met because it works fine on the other consoles? It doesn't takes months and months to check these things.
That isn't always what technological assurances mean. I dont know this specific case (cross play on a live title) but I do know of games in the QA stage (i.e. Alpha and Beta) that had cross play enabled for testing purposes (easier to do a populated a game lobby test by queueing on all the platforms together). For those games, yes, cross play was the matter of just flipping a switch, however that cross play (on non-final) game code did occasionally cause issues (and sometimes huge ones).

And that was before these games went through certification, where they need to meet each console manufacturers checklist before they could release on the platform. From what I knew of the process in the past, there was some conflicts between some cross play initiatives and certification checks (not just on Sony's side) that led to games that were supposed to have cross play that had to be canned/removed.

In short, I definitely would want more information in this case. I'm less sympathetic if the devs are whining on twitter because they don't want to go through the safety checks necessary to enable cross play (I am NOT saying this was the case). However if they DO want to go through all the hoops (and they should) then Sony absolutely owes a better explanation than the one they have given here.

In short, I wish we had better, clearer information. As I said earlier, I hope the devs struggling with getting cross play fully approved elaborate on it more soon.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,126
#45
He uses words like "I believe" and "I think", so not exactly instilling confidence in how certain he is in the specifics.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,878
#49
It sounds like early pr from ms about indies in 2013
This is exactly what I thought. This is just like when MS required extra content for indies releasing later on Xbox earlier in the gen. Basically, it’s pr spin.

Sucks to see so many falling for it itt.
 
Nov 8, 2017
4,293
#50
That isn't always what technological assurances mean. I dont know this specific case (cross play) but I do know of games in the QA stage (i.e. Alpha and Beta) that had cross play enabled for testing purposes (easier to do a populated a game lobby test by queueing on all the platforms together). For those games, yes, cross play was the matter of just flipping a switch, however that cross play (on non-final) game code did occasionally cause issues.

And that was before these games went through certification, where they need to meet each console manufacturers checklist before they could release on the platform. From what I knew of the process in the past, there was some conflicts between some cross play initiatives and certification checks (not just on Sony's side) that led to games that were supposed to have cross play that had to be canned/removed.

In short, I definitely would want more information in this case. I'm less sympathetic if the devs are whining on twitter because they don't want to go through the safety checks necessary to enable cross play (I am NOT saying this was the case). However if they DO want to go through all the hoops (and they should) then Sony absolutely owes a better explanation than the one they have given here.

In short, I wish we had better, clearer information. As I said earlier, I hope the devs struggling with getting cross play fully approved elaborate on it more soon.
None of that explains why Microsoft and Nintendo are able to do it though. Are you really trying to say that both of their "checklists" are that much shorter that they are able to allow cross-play on many games whereas Sony have allowed 2 in many months. It seems like you are just trying to give Sony a pass here.

It's also interesting that Sony are fine and more than able to cross-play with PC, Android and iOS but not their direct competitors.

This has always been a business decision and the only reason Fortnite got cross-play was because the complaints got through to mainstream media and news outlets.