Todd Howard is a really cool guy. I got the chance to meet him at this year’s E3 and he’s really down to earth. That’s why when someone like Todd Howard rips on you regarding cross-play, you better pay attention. Sony’s lack of support for cross-play has made them a villain. Their excuses for their childish behavior aren’t fooling anyone. Recently, Howard was rather blunt about why there will be no cross-play in Fallout 76. “You cannot do cross-play in ’76. We’d really love that but right now we can’t. Sony is not as helpful as everyone would like.“ On the surface, this may seem like an innocent statement, but in fact, it’s rather damning. After the horrible press Sony has received by locking player’s Fortnite accounts, and much earlier their refusal to do cross-play with Rocket League, Sony has become the villain in this situation by their own making. Microsoft and Nintendo do cross-play with Minecraft, Fortnite, and Rocket League. If Fallout 76 were to come out on the Switch, there’s no doubt that cross-play would exist between the two consoles once again. Cross-play benefits all gamers, and Sony has let their success go to their heads. They’ve become a villain to gamers, publishers, and developers. Cross-play gives developers freedom and breeds innovation. Being able to play with friends who own different consoles is a huge benefit to gamers. Sony’s rationale isn’t even rational. In fact, one of their excuses is downright laughable, considering Nintendo even allows players to voice chat with Xbox One players while playing Fortnite. “We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe. Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it’s something we have to think about very carefully.” This is according to PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan. I would expect to hear this from Nintendo, but from Sony? Don’t make me laugh. Sony doesn’t care about exposing children to potentially hostile environments. All one has to do is play Call of Duty and listen to all the children cussing you out and sending you obscene messages to realize how toxic playing online can be, especially on PSN. I thought Nintendo was supposed to be the ones concerned about children? Obviously, they have no qualms with cross-play. This is just another excuse to cover up Sony’s arrogance. John Smedley is the former President of Sony Online Entertainment. During his tenure with the company, he was told the lack of cross-play was purely financial. Greed. Ultimately the policy hurts everyone and benefits no one. It’s not only gamers who are calling Sony out either. Developers, Publishers, and the media is doing so as well. People don’t buy consoles for third-party games, they buy them for their exclusive content and unique features. This feels like the 1990s and Nintendo all over again, and it took them a number of years to reclaim their footing, only to falter again a few years later with the Wii U. Sony’s refusal to engage in cross-play is hurting the gaming industry, and moreso, gamers. A large percentage of gamers own multiple systems. I own all three major consoles myself. The ability to play Fortnite on PlayStation and then hop on my Switch and play it on the go with the same account would be fantastic. I can do it with my Xbox One. Why should Sony have the right to hold my Epic Games account hostage? This isn’t an example of cross-play per se, but it’s still a symptom of Sony’s policy. Cross-play is the future, and Nintendo and Microsoft have the vision to see that. Sony does not. They are too narrow-minded and not looking to the future. They are acting like a spoiled, entitled, greedy child. If they keep this up they will lose the domination they are currently experiencing. Microsoft and Nintendo will only increase their cooperation in the future. This is great for the industry. Sony will ultimately be left behind, despite their current success. When one of the most influential figures in the industry like Todd Howard calls you out for your childish behavior, it’s indicative of a deep-rooted issue. Sony needs to rectify this situation because it’s a PR disaster. Everyone is pointing out how detrimental this policy is. It doesn’t matter if they’re winning this generation. They will be left out in the cold during the next if they don’t get on board.