What a ‘feature!’
Bethesda, hilariously, has had a hell of a time dealing with Sony policies over the years. Sony infamously blocked Bethesda when it came to console mods, and now here the publisher is dealing with another issue in 2018. This time, speaking to Game Informer, Bethesda’s Pete Hines says that their vision of The Elder Scrolls Legends involves cross-play all-around; and that platforms that don’t support that vision might be ignored entirely.
Hines elaborates: “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. The way the game works right now on Apple, Google, Steam, and Bethesda.net, it doesn’t matter where you buy your stuff, if you play it on another platform that stuff is there. It doesn’t matter what platform you play on, you play against everyone else who is playing at that moment. There’s no ‘Oh, it’s easier to control, or it has a better framerate on this system.’ It’s a strategy card game. It doesn’t matter.”
When pressed about PS4 support specifically, Hines replied, “We continue to talk to all of our platform partners. But those [terms] are essentially non-negotiable. 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.”
Fornite is obviously the straw that broke the camel’s back (once people realized that it basically screwed up your entire Epic account it made national news), but this has been an issue for some time now. While Microsoft used to be the holdup in previous generations, Sony has had a stranglehold on cross-platform play recently. Minecraft even works across Microsoft, Nintendo, Apple, and Google platforms — a feat that the former touts as an accomplishment, even going so far as to advertise their “friendship” with Nintendo as a feature.
Several developers have gone on record stating that they’re not happy with the decision, even Bethesda themselves with Fallout 76 following its E3 reveal — and more will probably follow suit. As the market leader they can go on like this as the punching bag for a while, but if they fall underneath the wrath of Nintendo or Microsoft in a generation they’ll likely have to rethink their position. Until then we wait and go without cross-play because one single company is holding out.