Epic Games, an American video-game and software-design company famous for its game Fortnite Battle Royal, is one of the first to roll out cross-platform play between PC, mobile, and console users. Epic Games CEO announced plans to expand this to include the first cross-compatibility of the Xbox One and PS4 during a presentation in San Francisco last month.
The revolutionary capacity to play against users across platforms has opened up a world of possibilities that players have wanted for decades. Microsoft and Sony owners have begged for an ability to play against friends or strangers off-limits because they use competing technology. Epic Games and other game developers have urged the two companies to drop their barriers and allow consumers uninhibited interaction across networks.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney likened the opportunity of all platforms being connected to Metcalfe’s law, which states “the effect of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system.” Sweeney meant to show that despite each platform wanting to protect their network, the cross-play opportunities would be beneficial in the end.
Microsoft has publicly supported cross-play and specifically Fortnite, while Sony has failed to comment. According to Forbes, “Sony has the most to lose and the least to gain from implementing cross-play: the PS4 is currently the largest console network,” and “Cross-play would significantly weaken that advantage, but at a certain point blocking it starts to look like anti-consumer behavior”
Epic Games is pioneering the cross-platform movement with Fortnite and will continue to break down barriers with its all-inclusive market strategy. Gamers everywhere eagerly await this breakthrough and welcome a future where cross-play is normal in all gaming.