While games like Rocket League and Minecraft aren’t exactly new, they did get exciting updates at this year’s E3. With Rocket League appearing on the Nintendo Switch and Minecraft getting a huge graphical update, there’s plenty for fans to be excited about—but most exciting, perhaps, is the promise both Rocket League and Minecraft gave of impending cross-play.
On the Minecraft side, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC, mobile, and VR gamers can all play together, while Rocket League players can join the same match whether they’re on the Xbox One, Switch, or Steam. Notably, though, there’s a major playing all of this cross-play: the PlayStation 4.
As Microsoft revealed just after its conference, Sony was invited on board for Minecraft‘s cross-play implementation but refused to join. Now, Sony has elaborated a bit on that stance.
“It’s certainly not a profound philosophical stance we have against [cross-play],” PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan told Eurogamer in a recent interview. “We’ve done it in the past. We’re always open to conversations with any developer or publisher who wants to talk about it. Unfortunately it’s a commercial discussion between ourselves and other shareholders, and I’m not going to get into the detail of that on this particular instance.”
He added that while PlayStation is trying to do what’s best for its consumers, particularly the younger ones.
“We’ve got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base,” Ryan said. “Minecraft—the demographic playing that, you know as well as I do, it’s all ages but it’s also very young. We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe. Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it’s something we have to think about very carefully.”
When it was pointed out that Nintendo is typically even more family-friendly and didn’t have a problem joining the cross-play party, Ryan simply responded that “Everybody has to take their own decisions.
All hope isn’t lost, though. Ryan concluded the interview with an unenthusiastic statement that “[nothing] is ever a done deal,” so it’s possible that PlayStation could join the cross-play party one day. Possible, true, but from the rest of his statements, it’s not something that should leave fans hopeful.