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
1,515
Canada
I think 6 months is already a long time, but this doesn't seem like a small issue for Sony. I can't say for certain but hope things change soon.
This is not an answer to my query, it's vague doublespeak that leaves the impression that they can not issue a response to devs indefinitely and it's still a "pending" from Sony that will allow you to continue giving the benefit of the doubt instead of admitting that Sony is not responding intentionally because they're riding on PR to avoid further bad press as long as possible.

So I'll ask again: how many months of no response would cause you to admit what Sony's actions currently make apparent to others in this thread?

I never stated this so stop putting words in my mouth.
Yet what you've said is a direct contradiction of Psyonix's statements on the issue. So feel free to clarify, who's not telling the truth?
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,995
Alright, I get that some just like opposing arguments. But the sort of stuff I have to deal with in these type of threads is just wrong.
You’re being dealt with healthy skepticism for your odd defense of a company clearly in the wrong. Adopt some of that skepticism bruh.
 
Oct 26, 2017
468
Personally taking Sony's words with a grain of salt until games apart from Fortnite and Rocket League get added on the "Full Cross-Platform Support" list. For me, actions speak louder than words at this point.
 

mazi

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
14,477
Alright, I get that some just like opposing arguments. But the sort of stuff I have to deal with in these type of threads is just wrong.
maybe it's because you don't come into the threads with the intention of engaging and expressing your view and listening to other people's views, but with the intention of defending what you already believe and aggressively picking out people's posts apart by quoting every single sentence separately and telling them how they are wrong while not seeming like you know much about the matter yourself?

by aggressively challenging people's posts point by point with skepticism and trying to seem neutral, you actually seem super clearly in defense on sony here
 
Oct 29, 2017
4,752
Jfc, we're going to have to add "No, the devs are liars" to the bingo chart.

With that being said, it's not like there hasn't been some inconsistencies/disorganization with these huge companies before. I can totally see Shawn Layden seeing finalized plans with crossplay completely loosened up WHILE some Playstation processes/intermediaries remind behind on these things
 
Oct 27, 2017
704
I can't imagine the Account Managers are the bottleneck here. AMs at any company are incentivized to keep their clients as happy as possible, and discuss their needs within the organization. I could see a situation where this is an issue for devs that don't have a dedicated AM, or a channel through which they can have an ongoing conversation with Sony.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,515
Canada
I can't imagine the Account Managers are the bottleneck here. AMs at any company are incentivized to keep their clients as happy as possible, and discuss their needs within the organization. I could see a situation where this is an issue for devs that don't have a dedicated AM, or a channel through which they can have an ongoing conversation with Sony.
After 6 months, it wouldn't be that they're a bottleneck so much as blatantly not doing their job, because devs are clearly unhappy and aren't getting the feedback they require to not jump to what can now best be described 6 months in as a logical conclusion.
 
Oct 27, 2017
704
After 6 months, it wouldn't be that they're a bottleneck so much as blatantly not doing their job, because devs are clearly unhappy and aren't getting the feedback they require to not jump to what can now best be described 6 months in as a logical conclusion.
It's hard to imagine the entire team isn't doing its job. More likely that there simply aren't enough AMs to deal with every single dev out there, and so some of them probably don't have dedicated Account Managers that can keep going back-and-forth with them. It's either that, or they've been instructed to stall until Sony figures its crossplay stuff out.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,515
Canada
It's hard to imagine the entire team isn't doing its job. More likely that there simply aren't enough AMs to deal with every single dev out there, and so some of them probably don't have dedicated Account Managers that can keep going back-and-forth with them. It's either that, or they've been instructed to stall until Sony figures its crossplay stuff out.
You mean instructed to stall until Sony decides that they want to make it happen, I assume. Sony has nothing to "figure out" from a technical standpoint, merely if they want to let it happen from a business/financial standpoint.

And again, at 6 months, it's either a co-ordinated effort to not address the requests or the highly unlikely scenario that none of them got the frickin' memo that cross-play was a go. Because you shouldn't be going half a year without word from an account manager on a request. That'd be the worst account management I've ever heard of.
 
Oct 27, 2017
704
You mean instructed to stall until Sony decides that they want to make it happen, I assume.
Yeah, that was what I meant. I'm sure there are people within the organization that want to see this happen, but when you're a large company there's always layers of bureaucracy to get through, even for internal staff. Could be a situation where a lot of people at Sony really want to make it happen, but the bizdev guys aren't playing ball.
 
Oct 30, 2017
383
It’s pretty much in Sony’s interest to be eternally “working on” cross-play and “working with developers” to enable it without ever actually enabling it, so I’m not surprised that’s exactly what seems to be happening.

They want to have their cake and eat it too. Not supporting cross-play became politically untenable, so they’re saying they are “working on it,” but they also don’t want to give up their gotta-buy-a-PS4-to-play-with-all-your-PS4-friends advantage.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,533
Long Island
What could go wrong with cross play? Honest question, could Sony's network get attacked by a opposing consoles user base? Or am I just making wild theories up in my head that hold no merit. I know shit about the behind the scenes of this stuff.
 
Oct 27, 2017
695
I mean he may as well scream

"Fuck crossplay we winning this gen motherfucker."

Everyone knows it's BS and that Sony has no want to allow it. Yet. Which dev said crossplay is as easy as flicking a switch?

Tbh on some level, I've always believed one of the reasons Sony is hesitant to allow it is imagine the scenario where Xbox and PS players are crospslaying and PSN goes down. Can you imagine the fuckery that would entail

Hope they don't get caught with their trousers down at the start of next gen.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,315
You mean instructed to stall until Sony decides that they want to make it happen, I assume. Sony has nothing to "figure out" from a technical standpoint, merely if they want to let it happen from a business/financial standpoint.

And again, at 6 months, it's either a co-ordinated effort to not address the requests or the highly unlikely scenario that none of them got the frickin' memo that cross-play was a go. Because you shouldn't be going half a year without word from an account manager on a request. That'd be the worst account management I've ever heard of.
You sure seem to know a lot. Do you work in the industry?
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,515
Canada
You sure seem to know a lot. Do you work in the industry?
I worked in corporate procurement. I had many account managers I regularly did business with. If I didn't get a concrete response to a request made to my account manager at one of my vendors within 1 month, it was usually forwarded to the head of procurement and the upper management team to have a less-than-polite conversation with them.

I can't fathom any industry where getting the runaround for multiple months by an account manager would be considered remotely acceptable. Can you?

If you were referring to the lack of technical hurdles, that's already apparent from multiple developers and how they enabled it across XBL and NSO, along with the multiple incidents where cross-play across PS4 and XBO consoles was enabled by accident until Sony explicitly had it shut down.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,315
I worked in corporate procurement. I had many account managers I regularly did business with. If I didn't get a concrete response to a request made to my account manager at one of my vendors within 1 month, it was usually forwarded to the head of procurement and the upper management team to have a less-than-polite conversation with them.

I can't fathom any industry where getting the runaround for multiple months by an account manager would be considered remotely acceptable. Can you?
Oh I can. I’m in the military. 👌🏾
 
May 19, 2018
123
I call BS. Sony definitely were behind the lack of cross play when it comes to Fortnite at least. If I remember correctly Sony claimed crossplay with Switch/Xbox was harmful to children on PlayStation because of some silly reason they gave about players on Xbox/Switch which didn't convince anyone because they were still forced to allow it due to community backlash. I'll give credit where it's due and it's very nice to see them not being arrogant pricks about it and eventually allowing it (for Fortnite specifically anyway), but I hope they don't stand in the way of developers who want to implement it in their games when next gen comes around because we know for sure MS and Nintendo will be open to supporting it for all games. There really isn't a reason nowadays why cross platform multiplayer shouldn't be standard across all platforms.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,515
Canada
Obviously you missed the joke so I’ll just leave the conversation at that.
Internet isn't a great place to convey sarcastic satire at the best of times, so if you're gonna do it, you either have to make it 100% obvious or REALLY sell it. Kinda like this...

i'm not sure there's enough room under that bus for all the account managers at playstation.
Considering there was already room for Hello Games and Sean Murray's ego under there, I'm sure they'll all fit just fine.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,156
Am I the only one who thinks both parties might be right here? I don’t think anyone is lying.

From the full quote it sounds like it is an open process, but a somewhat slow one right now, and Sony is trying to address three components at once rather than just crossplay multiplayer.

A dev in a hurry could easily take that a slow process as being fobbed off and cry foul.

Sony should try to speed the process once they have everything nailed down, if it’s not nailed down already. That’s for sure. But I don’t get the impression that anyone’s trying to be deceptive here, I think it’s a mismatch of expectations of how quickly things will move while Sony is still solidifying their process. There’s a lesson there for Sony in fast response, but I don’t think Layden is being insincere.
 
Oct 30, 2017
460
Hes not saying that it was a technical issue though, or how do you mean?

That's the point. That it's a Sony policy and not a technical issue. That and it doesn't/didn't seem to be as easy as just talking to the account manager because the account manager is probably bound by said policies.
 
Oct 30, 2017
460
I call BS. Sony definitely were behind the lack of cross play when it comes to Fortnite at least. If I remember correctly Sony claimed crossplay with Switch/Xbox was harmful to children on PlayStation because of some silly reason they gave about players on Xbox/Switch which didn't convince anyone because they were still forced to allow it due to community backlash. I'll give credit where it's due and it's very nice to see them not being arrogant pricks about it and eventually allowing it (for Fortnite specifically anyway), but I hope they don't stand in the way of developers who want to implement it in their games when next gen comes around because we know for sure MS and Nintendo will be open to supporting it for all games. There really isn't a reason nowadays why cross platform multiplayer shouldn't be standard across all platforms.
Yea the "protect the children" comment was directly related to Minecraft and the Xbox. It's good to know that all Phil has to do is go talk to his PlayStation account manager to get this sorted out.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,300
Scotland
Am I the only one who thinks both parties might be right here? I don’t think anyone is lying.

From the full quote it sounds like it is an open process, but a somewhat slow one right now, and Sony is trying to address three components at once rather than just crossplay multiplayer.

A dev in a hurry could easily take that a slow process as being fobbed off and cry foul.

Sony should try to speed the process once they have everything nailed down, if it’s not nailed down already. That’s for sure. But I don’t get the impression that anyone’s trying to be deceptive here, I think it’s a mismatch of expectations of how quickly things will move while Sony is still solidifying their process. There’s a lesson there for Sony in fast response, but I don’t think Layden is being insincere.
The developers should just pick up the phone.
 
Oct 30, 2017
4,737
Doesn't really matter what Shawn says or what Sony does, people just want them to be the bad guys so badly all while forgetting Sony has been at the forefront of crossplay since the last generation.
 
Jan 19, 2019
32
Doesn't really matter what Shawn says or what Sony does, people just want them to be the bad guys so badly all while forgetting Sony has been at the forefront of crossplay since the last generation.
They may have been at the forefront some time in the past but they are most definitely not there now. Which is why people think they are the bad guys NOW.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,458
Who cares about the past now. The gates are open on this one and should not be an issue from now on. Let the finger pointing begone if they are truly moving forward.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,485
Sony looking quite stupid when it comes to this topic.

While I get why they don't wanna open the floodgates .....their messaging have been suboar. When devs are openly calling you out you probably wanna set the record straight.

People are delusional if they think that devs that have been successfully running f2p online titles for years ....would call out Sony in public if there was anything they could do on their own to speed up the process. That's a last resort move for frustrated devs not happy with the current situation.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,911
Era: “Sony is shit! They are holding back crossplay! Hold em to the fire!”

Shawn Layden: “We’re open for business. Just get with your PS manager and get it set up!”

Era: “You’re lying! You just want specific 3rd parties! Hold em to the fire again!”

Somewhere the truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Sony probably is open to it now, but there’s a lot more to opening up a game for crossplaybfrom 3rd party developers than just flipping a switch and letting everyone play with each other.
I agree, it’s obviously in Sony’s pipeline to expand cross play even further but they just want to do it at their own pace - which is perfectly fine considering they are the market leader.
 
Nov 2, 2017
170
Except in the paragraphs before it you get the same old deflective crap:

This is why Layden shouldn't do PR.

That is egregious cherry-picking on your part. Here are parts of his answer you purposely edited out:
Shawn Layden: But I think we learned, from the feedback from our fans, that it was important. And it wasn’t just important to a vocal minority. ... Even the fans who weren’t personally going to participate in a cross-play activity across different hardware pieces, just felt that it was kind of tone-deaf of PlayStation. ... 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. We looked at that approach. This… this is just not friendly.
And
Shawn Layden: I don’t want to put too fine a point on this because it might upset some of the people I work with, but I think effectively, we’re looking at kind of a post-console world where you can have quality gaming experiences across a variety of technologies. Sure, PS4 and PS4 Pro provide what, of course, we think is the best gaming experience, but the other consoles out there, be it Switch, Xbox One X, or tablets, or phones – there are great experiences across all these. What we need to do is recognize all that. We’re not little gaming ghettos that are not federated or aligned at all. We’re all part of the same gaming community, we just come at it through different doorways. I think the future will be an extension of that metaphor. Your platform is not your hideaway. It’s just your doorway to all these other gamer folk.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,458
Sony looking quite stupid when it comes to this topic.

While I get why they don't wanna open the floodgates .....their messaging have been suboar. When devs are openly calling you out you probably wanna set the record straight.
He literally just did state the opposite. It will be near impossible to backtrack now on.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,485
He literally just did state the opposite. It will be near impossible to backtrack now on.
They are doing it because the pressure from some game communities and devs...not because they want to.

If that was the case it would be like with Nintendo and MS right now.....and we wouldn't have devs on Twitter calling them out for making this such a tiresome process.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,002
Portugal
Something tells me crossplay and BC (in whatever shape it may come in) will be BIG features about the PS5. As in, Sony will make sure to shout them to everyone, as loud as they can.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,911
As he said in the article. Its not a flick of a switch. There are pros and cons to them as a business entity. What they are doing is testing the waters and opening up by just a little to see the effects. He is saying "fortnite seems to be doing well" which sounds like they are trying to learn and see how this featyre works.

People who quick to say anti consumerism is annoying really. Sony is running a business and they need to see how this, frankly, huge decision will affect them. I know I am not looking at this as a consumer and more into how a business works.

If a factor outside your business plan suddenly takes more attention, you try to test and learn what will happen if you consider it.

A child can stomp their feet and cry out but that does not mean that the parents must give in immediately to the demands of the child. Some things just take time.

The only mistakes they are making from what I see here is their messaging they have and they need to react much faster. I may sound like I am defending sony but I just don't enjoy seeing little kids throwing a tantrum and sounding like a spoiled brat.
Good post.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,169
That's the point. That it's a Sony policy and not a technical issue. That and it doesn't/didn't seem to be as easy as just talking to the account manager because the account manager is probably bound by said policies.
Yeah, but i didnt get the notion that Shawn Layden claimed otherwise. It was always on Sony and not something else, so i just wondered what he (the guy i quoted) was refering to :)
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
2,911
Shawn Layden: But I think we learned, from the feedback from our fans, that it was important. And it wasn’t just important to a vocal minority. ... Even the fans who weren’t personally going to participate in a cross-play activity across different hardware pieces, just felt that it was kind of tone-deaf of PlayStation. ... 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. We looked at that approach. This… this is just not friendly.
Shawn Layden: I don’t want to put too fine a point on this because it might upset some of the people I work with, but I think effectively, we’re looking at kind of a post-console world where you can have quality gaming experiences across a variety of technologies. Sure, PS4 and PS4 Pro provide what, of course, we think is the best gaming experience, but the other consoles out there, be it Switch, Xbox One X, or tablets, or phones – there are great experiences across all these. What we need to do is recognize all that. We’re not little gaming ghettos that are not federated or aligned at all. We’re all part of the same gaming community, we just come at it through different doorways. I think the future will be an extension of that metaphor. Your platform is not your hideaway. It’s just your doorway to all these other gamer folk.
Shawn Layden has always been a likeable exec and I like how open and sincere he’s being in this interview, especially admitting how, in some cases, they need to improve their services for all gamers as a community. I know this is unrelated, but I do wish Nintendo would admit how “tone deaf” they are when it comes to basic online services but that’s for another day.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,156
The developers should just pick up the phone.
Well both need to simply talk candidly, whoever is picking up the phone. There's clearly a breakdown in communication somewhere, and I do think that's Sony's fault.

Here's one supposition:

This came out of nowhere for Sony pretty quickly (per Layden himself).
Sony came around on the business policy sometime thereafter
However PSN's codebase is a millstone around their neck - a legacy codebase that's a brittle ball of spaghetti (i think a reasonable suggestion given all else we've seen wrt certain new features and the speed of their delivery)
Sony has been trying to refactor it (I guess), and has been trying to stay more or less feature locked for a while to facilitate that (again, I guess).
While cross MP itself might be a 'switch' on the game end, it sounds like Sony is handling the issue as play/saves/purchases in one, stuff that would require backend work.
Sony needs to 'go slow' on the rollout because they lack confidence in the robustness of their code - confidence that changes won't break stuff
The process currently is not automated, and Sony is handholding devs through it and wants to monitor games carefully in case they crop up issues
That creates a manpower bottleneck in QA and dev relations - people who also have lots of other tasks/responsibilities
However, in communicating to developers what's going on, it's obviously embarrassing for Sony to discuss technical shortcomings, so devs are left somewhat in the dark about why things are going 'slow' - and then wonder if the slowness relates to policy more than anything else.
Sony - in knowing all the issues that might be going on behind the scenes (that I'm hypothesizing are going on), has one set of expectations around timing, and devs have a completely other set (i.e., quite reasonably, they want it NOW), and so you have mismatched expectations.

I don't think it's half-heartedness about the business policy at all. That doesn't make sense to me. Sony's prior policy was rooted in protectionism of network effects/Metcalfe's Law. It doesn't make sense to blow that open for big games and then worry about the impact of 'little' games. The genie is completely out of the bottle via the big games, the 'additional damage' these games would do is trifling.

(Side note: contrary to some commentary earlier in the thread, Layden is not skirting responsibility at all for Fortnite etc. He clearly states it's something that was down to them, and that prior policy was 'unfriendly')

So Sony, in short, needs to be more proactive about keeping devs updated on progress - on progress regarding the whole project, even if progress on a developer's own game hasn't been made, and even if it's embarrassing to be completely candid about why the process is the way it is. They need to get these features to a point where they're battle-tested enough that devs can use them automatically, without manual oversight. And, if I'm right about the root causes, they need to continue refactoring their PSN codebase into something tested, flexible and agile, so that they're not operating with a millstone around their neck in the future, and can react speedily with more technical confidence that stuff won't break...whatever the next 'crossplay' is.
 
Oct 28, 2017
261
When the first game to be given the green light was Fortnite and then that was followed up by Rocket League, it’s easy to draw the conclusion that Sony is playing favourites.

If Blizzard came along and introduced crossplay for Overwatch, they wouldn’t be made to wait like Hi-Rez, but crossplay is far more important to games with smaller communities than the behemoths.
 

Durante

Dark Souls Man
Member
Oct 24, 2017
4,496
Am I the only one who thinks both parties might be right here? I don’t think anyone is lying.

From the full quote it sounds like it is an open process, but a somewhat slow one right now, and Sony is trying to address three components at once rather than just crossplay multiplayer.

A dev in a hurry could easily take that a slow process as being fobbed off and cry foul.

Sony should try to speed the process once they have everything nailed down, if it’s not nailed down already. That’s for sure. But I don’t get the impression that anyone’s trying to be deceptive here, I think it’s a mismatch of expectations of how quickly things will move while Sony is still solidifying their process. There’s a lesson there for Sony in fast response, but I don’t think Layden is being insincere.
It doesn't actually matter if they are outright lying or just purposefully making something that should be trivial take a completely unreasonable amount of time.

The result is the same.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,156
It doesn't actually matter if they are outright lying or just purposefully making something that should be trivial take a completely unreasonable amount of time.

The result is the same.
I'm not suggesting they're purposefully making it slow. Per my last post's suggestions, I'm suggesting their speed of operation here may be bogged down by a brittle legacy codebase, and they're too embarrassed to communicate that to partners. It would not be the first time that happened to a company.

Of course that is ultimately Sony's fault - but I think that's different to saying that they're insincerely and deliberately holding things up.
 
Nov 2, 2017
170
Shawn Layden has always been a likeable exec and I like how open and sincere he’s being in this interview, especially admitting how, in some cases, they need to improve their services for all gamers as a community. I know this is unrelated, but I do wish Nintendo would admit how “tone deaf” they are when it comes to basic online services but that’s for another day.
Nintendo and Sony are like ocean liners. They turn slowly. Something needing obvious improvement.