A giant leap for gaming was made last month when Sony announced that it will finally be embracing crossplay, starting with Fortnite. However, according to Bethesda PR and marketing vice president Pete Hines, that historical move will not only help in opening up the games industry to crossplay but also cross-platform progression, both of which mean different but equally-important things.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Hines stated that the future of the industry will be one where games can be delivered easier and faster to players in a variety of different ways on a wider choice of devices. Crossplay means being able to play with gamers on other platforms, but cross-platform progression will enable gamers to keep track of their progress from one platform to another. This includes cross-platform cloud saves and the ability to seamlessly link accounts across different platforms.
“I’m most heartened by Sony’s news last week about crossplay because it seems that they’re going to open up and embrace not just crossplay, but cross-platform progression – those are two very different things. I don’t just want to able to play against people on other platforms,” said Hines. “I also want to be able to take my progress with me from device to device. What I’ve unlocked, what my character can do, I want to be able to go from platform to platform.”
It was only two months ago that Hines voiced out his frustrations against Sony’s lack of crossplay support. Now that Sony has started supporting crossplay, a future with the widespread adoption of cross-platform progression might be arriving sooner than we expected. Hines is not alone in anticipating this future for the games industry, as Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney also made similar hopeful predictions earlier this year.
“And both of those things I think are equally important, and I very much am hopeful that with the next-gen platforms, we’ll see even more of that, in terms of treating our fanbase as a whole, as opposed to ‘here’s the Xbox folks, here’s the PS4 folks, here’s the Switch folks and PC’ — everybody segmented and walled off from each other,” he added. “We can just say, ‘you’re all playing Game X’ and we can treat you all the same because your experiences are all the same, you’re playing against each other.”