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Cross-play between PS4 and Xbox One players have always been a distant dream thanks to the corporate politics at play between Sony and Microsoft. However, Fortnite and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney says that the future of the games industry will be “one in which barriers between platforms will no longer exist.”
Speaking at Epic Game’s State of Unreal session at GDC 2018 recently, Sweeney says that his company’s game, Fortnite, is one of the several games which are establishing a new model for the industry. He added that a new trend has been playing out for the past decade or so, in which mobile games are moving away from “being primarily casual based, to being primarily real games for gamers.”
Sweeney believes that the work his company has done with Fortnite will benefit anyone who uses the Unreal Engine for their games. He explained: “So that they can do the same thing. And that is build one unified game that runs on all platforms, that is the same experience everywhere, and is a social experience that you can play with friends across all of the different platforms.”
How does this work when games are released on both weaker mobile devices, as well as more powerful console and PC machines? Sweeney said: “What we have is this one engine that’s supporting AAA production values and game sizes and content bases that runs everywhere. This is going to be a great setup for the games industry because it means that now you don’t have a divide between casual mobile games and high-end PC and console games.”
Sweeney refers to Metcalfe’s Law as a basis for his points, which means that the value of any shared experience is directly proportional to the number of people who can connect to it in the real world. He thinks that cross-play between all platforms is “inevitable now.”
We reported recently that both Epic Games and Microsoft approve of cross-play between all platforms for Fortnite. However, Sony remains adamant in maintaining its exclusivity and refuses to join the club. Maybe someday Sony will finally yield and the future predicted by Sweeney will arrive sooner than later, which would most certainly benefit everybody.