This generation of gaming has brought more cross-play games than any generation before it, but Sony has kept the PlayStation 4 mostly separate. That may be about to change, however, since Bethesda Softworks is now putting pressure on all systems to allow cross-play.
The conversation centers around The Elder Scrolls: Legends, a free-to-play digital card game based on the Elder Scrolls universe. It’s out on PC already, and is set to release on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch later in 2018. According to some comments by Bethesda head Pete Hines, however, the PlayStation 4 may be left out if Sony doesn’t play nice with the other game consoles.
“[Legends] is a strategy card game that encompasses both single and multiplayer,” Hines said in an interview with Game Informer. “It is both cross-platform play and cross-platform progress… It is our intention in order for the game to come out, it has to be those things on any system. We cannot have a game that works one way across everywhere else except for on this one thing. We can’t be talking about one version of Legends, where you take your progress with you, and another version where you stay within that ecosystem or its walled off from everything else. That is counter to what the game has been about.”
Hines didn’t name names, but the PlayStation 4 is the obvious console not being named here. This summer, the platform came under criticism for how it handled cross-play on Fortnite, essentially locking players out from their accounts if they tried to play on any other console after playing on PS4. The PS4 is also currently the only console to now allow cross-play on Minecraft.
Of course, this is a strategy that works well for Sony. Since the PlayStation 4 has currently sold more units than any other console this generation, Sony has a vested interest in keeping those players on the PlayStation 4 and not bleeding users out to other systems. This policy may come back to bite Sony, however, if Bethesda does choose to withdraw support for Legends and other companies follow suit.
At the moment, The Elder Scrolls: Legends is still listed as coming to the PlayStation 4. We’ll keep an eye out for if that status changes.
Source: Game Informer