In the earlier days of Fortnite Battle Royale, Sony was basically the last platform holder to allow crossplay. The company finally allowed it on the PS4, but recent revelations reveal that this came at quite a literal price. And we have the ongoing Epic vs Apple legal battle to thank for these revelations.
As part of that legal battle, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney testified that Sony Interactive Entertainment was the only company that charges for crossplay. And the legal document that accompany the testimony sheds light on what that compensation is like.
The basic idea is to prevent Fortnite players on PlayStation spending money elsewhere, like iOS for instance. There’s also quite the specific cutoff point for when that compensation comes in. To put it simply, if PlayStation players are spending more than 85% of the money a game makes on other platforms than on its own, then the publisher will have to play SIE the crossplay royalty.
But even then, this compromise didn’t come until much later. According to The Verge, despite massive demand from the player base, SIE was not willing to enable crossplay.
In 2018, Joe Kreiner, VP of business development at Epic Games, basically let SIE take the glory for enabling crossplay. But in response, Gio Corsi, then senior director of development relations at SIE, said “cross-platform play is not a slam dunk no matter the size of the title”. That, and many other companies tried, and failed, to convince SIE of the merits of crossplay to the company’s business.
Ultimately, the final compromise which seemingly heavily weighs in favour of SIE, came following gamer backlash and the massive success that is Fortnite. And it sort of explains why other developers had trouble getting corssplay on the PS4 back then.
(Source: The Verge)