Fortnite Crossplay: 5 Reasons It Makes the Gaming Industry's Future BrighterOct 10, 2018 | 1 Votes by Mikhail 10 rate Sony finally allowing crossplay on Fortnite is a huge step to a bright future in gaming. Why is this a big deal and what does it mean for both players and developers? Let’s take a look at a few reasons why.
Crossplay - or cross-platform gaming - is a term referred to players connecting and playing against or with each other regardless of the platform. For example, if you’re an Xbox One player, you can connect and play a game with Nintendo Switch and PC players. Sony has always opposed this, likely due to business and competitive reasons. Just a few weeks ago though, they’ve implemented a policy change that enables PlayStation 4 gamers to connect and play with Xbox One and Nintendo Switch players.
Although crossplay to other games hasn’t been implemented yet, it is a monumental step forward in the gaming industry. You could consider it gaming’s version of the destruction of the Berlin Wall. In any case, why is this a huge deal and what does it mean in the future? Let’s find out what it can do.
A one and full inclusive gaming community
With crossplay reaching its full potential, the gaming community is now in essence, a single community. Games, particularly MMORPGs, can now support various players regardless of the platform. Imagine being in an open-world MMO with mobile, PlayStation, PC, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch players. A world where everyone regardless of their device can connect and interact with others...a world not limited by platforms and business interests.
However, this also poses a few other problems. The most notable would be the input devices: mouse & keyboard, touchscreens, and controllers. Certain games like first-person shooters put M&K users at an advantage, while racing games give controllers-users an advantage. Fortnite managed to solve this by implementing input-based matchmaking, something that other developers should consider. The next would be the servers and matchmaking regions, something that we still need to find answers to.
Multiplayer exclusives will now be a rarity
The biggest and most glaring multiplayer exclusive today is of course, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or PUBG. Though it has since then been overshadowed by Fortnite’s popularity, the game still commands a cult following, especially on Steam and Xbox. A PlayStation release is likely in the works, but there has been no announcement yet. To be honest, PUBG is missing out on PlayStation’s tens of millions of players. With the start of the crossplay era, it’s likely we will never see another case like this. It’s just crazy how a developer/publisher signed a timed-exclusive deal with one platform which in turn caused them to miss out on others.
However, we can’t say this will be the case for single player games and franchise games. We’re sure Xbox/Microsoft will never bring Halo to PlayStation and Nintendo consoles. Meanwhile, PlayStation/Sony will never port their epic single player games like the newly-released Spider-Man, God of War, and Persona 5. The same can be said about Nintendo, a company that is highly protective of their intellectual property assets. After all, these companies still need to keep a competitive edge and certain IP properties give people a reason to purchase their consoles. For example, Mario, Pokemon, and Fire Emblem games is enough of a cause to buy a Nintendo Console.
Revitalization of dying online communities
There are games unfortunately failed to live up to their potential. The most notable of which would be Evolve, a game surrounded by hype months before its release that fizzled out a few days after its release. It was a forgettable endeavor for 2K games, despite the gameplay mechanics being extremely fun on paper. With crossplay across various platforms now a thing, we could see the resurrection of “dead” communities. This in turn could lure in new players for games like Evolve, bringing it back on the gaming map.
Friends can now play with friends regardless of the platform
One of the main reasons why people have been pushing for crossplay is simply because they want to play with friends regardless of the platform. It’s uncommon to meet groups of friends who own different consoles. One might have a PlayStation 4, while others have spanking new Xbox One Xs. The PlayStation 4 owner will be isolated and won’t be able to play online with friends, which is a sad, sad situation. With Sony allowing crossplay though, friends who are close in real-life can now play together online, even if they own different consoles.
Console wars ceasefire
Finally, the addition of crossplay might help in reducing the collateral damage and amount of feelings that are hurt in the ongoing internet console wars. Fought mainly by Xbox and PlayStation fanboys, this is basically a “war” to find out which consoles are better, while Nintendo and PC players sit and eat popcorn on the sidelines. They “passionately” discuss their points, like who has the better exclusives, hardware, graphics, etc.
PlayStation 4’s lack of crossplay is one of the strongest weapons used by Xbox One players. With the end of the “crossplay gate”, players may now opt to play together, against each other and, at least minimize if not end the wars fought on online communities. A ceasefire is possibility in a single community.