PlayStation’s global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan made headlines during E3 2017 for taking a fairly hard-lined stance against cross-platform play, at least when it comes to Minecraft. But a major release scheduled for spring 2018 could see Xbox One and PS4 players gunning each other down in the Wild West.
That’s because rumors have surfaced that Rockstar working with Microsoft and Sony to strike a deal that would allow Rockstar to implement cross-platform multiplayer for its console versions of Red Dead Redemption 2.
Cross-play became a prominent issue during E3 2017, thanks in part to the announcements that Nintendo Switch versions of Minecraft and Rocket League would allow cross-play with Xbox One and PC players, creating this sort of unholy alliance between Nintendo and Microsoft.
In turn, Ryan reiterated that PlayStation would not allow cross-play for Minecraft by citing a policy based on not just “commercial” interests but also a “responsibility” to Minecraft‘s younger demographic to “look after them” and not expose “what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after.”
That being said, if cross-play for Red Dead Redemption 2 was on the table, those excuses wouldn’t necessarily fly, considering the more mature demographic that game is targeting. On top of that, Rockstar’s upcoming open-world Western is generally expected to be one of the top-selling games of 2018 on both consoles, so it might be in PlayStation’s “commercial” interests to say yes to cross-play, especially when the Xbox 360 version of the previous Red Dead game outsold the PS3 version in North America by almost a million copies, according to VG Chartz.
To be fair, Ryan made it clear that cross-play wasn’t completely off the table, going so far as to say that “[nothing] is ever a done deal.” If any game could get PlayStation to change its mind, Red Dead Redemption 2 might be it.