The ability to play multiplayer on PlayStation consoles with players on other platforms (Xbox, Switch, and PC) has been around since the fall of 2018 and applies to more and more games. But you may remember that Sony was strongly against so-called cross-play, unlike Microsoft and Nintendo. They justified themselves then by saying that with cross-play they could not provide their customers with security standards like those within the PlayStation network, but eventually gave in after Microsoft and Nintendo began to use cross-play support in their favor. But now we find out what the real problem was and under what conditions Sony gave in.
Court documents in the lawsuit between Epic Games and Apple (related to the so-called Free Fortnite movement) revealed various internal relations between Epic and their partners, including Sony. From the correspondence of the two companies, it can be noticed that Sony strongly opposed the opening of multiplayer to other consoles, while Epic was convinced that they could force Sony to change the policy since their Fortnite is one of the most lucrative games on the PlayStation.
Of course, on Sony’s side, the problem was that players could play Fortnite on the PlayStation, and buy and pay for additional content to play on other platforms, so Sony wouldn’t get a commission. Namely, Epic also offers a cross-wallet as part of cross-play, through which Fortnite players can buy content on one platform and use it on another.
At Sony, they agreed to cross-play in the end, but on the condition that they are provided with a kind of compensation if the player spends money on another platform and plays on the PlayStation.
“Sony has an item requiring us to pay them a commission on the income of other platforms if the user’s PlayStation ratio across all platforms does not match the playing time on the PlayStation. If someone is primarily playing on a PlayStation but paying on an iPhone, Sony is seeking compensation for that. ” - revealed the head of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney.
It is not known whether this agreement applies to all parties wishing to allow cross-play in games for PlayStation consoles.