Sony blocks cross-platform play for 'ARK: Survival Evolved'

By Cal Jeffrey ยท 17 replies
Aug 22, 2017
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  1. Sony has once again blocked the possibility for cross-platform play on another popular MMO. ARK: Survival Evolved is the latest game to get the cross-platform ax on PlayStation. You might remember the stink raised at E3 2017 when it was announced that anyone on any platform would soon be able to play together in Rocket League or Minecraft, except for PS4 owners.

    The execs at SCEA put up a “but what about the children” defense for their denial, but claimed that they would be open to having a conversation with any developers interested in implementing cross-platforming on the PS4. Now it appears that discussions on the subject only amount to Sony saying, “no.”

    When asked on Twitter if ARK players on Xbox and PlayStation would ever be able to play together, lead designer Jeremy Stieglitz stated, “We have it working internally, but currently Sony won't allow it.”

    So the functionality is there, and it works, but Sony is banning it from being implemented. The same thing was happening over at Psyonix, makers of Rocket League. Developers there said they could have cross-platform functionality up and running on the PS4 in under an hour if Sony would let them.

    In an attempt to explain the reasoning, Jim Ryan, head of marketing for PlayStation said, "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."

    While it is good PR for Sony to say that it is concerned for the younger players, specifically referring to the Minecraft demographic in that case, it is not likely to be the real reason behind the decision. It is probably more a strategic financial move than anything else.

    According to Business Insider, PlayStation 4s are selling almost twice as fast as Xbox Ones. Allowing cross play can only help Microsoft, but holds minimal financial benefit for Sony. Plus as Engadget puts it, “When you're this far ahead in sales, you can afford to look like the bad guy.”

    Despite having said they will entertain discussions on the topic, it is clear that Sony has not budged at all on considering cross-platform play. It looks like an outright ban on the PlayStation 4 might be the only thing that will get the company’s attention, but it is unlikely we will see PS4 owners burning their consoles in the street in protest.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Kotters

    Kotters TS Maniac Posts: 318   +218

    Gracious until they're in the lead.

    Good to see Sony isn't any different from MS and Nintendo.
    Auth3ntic0 and Theinsanegamer like this.
  3. adisoftcafe

    adisoftcafe TS Booster Posts: 43   +19

    For the players !
    Auth3ntic0 likes this.
  4. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 509   +266

    Sony was always about control, never for the player. Leave Microsoft and Nintendo out of it.
  5. Teko03

    Teko03 TS Evangelist Posts: 470   +243

    EA Access on PS4...Sony says no.
    Crossplay on PS4...Sony says no.

    What's next? Installing games?
    Auth3ntic0 likes this.
  6. enemys

    enemys TS Maniac Posts: 166   +144

    Well, they have a huge advantage of a higher install base and more (I think, that's what I heard) exclusive titles, so they can be a little arrogant. But MS is going strong feature-wise - they have crossplay, backward compatibility, subscription-based game plans (EA Access, Xbox Game Pass), single-purchase multiplatform games. And they don't have broken download speeds. I wonder if this will finally pay off in sales, because features are nice, but having much more players and developers on the board is nicer.

    Personally, I might even grab an X1 just for the subscription and X360 titles, since it's dirt cheap ($150-170, at least in Poland) anyway when bought second-hand.
    Auth3ntic0 and adisoftcafe like this.
  7. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,942   +1,357

    pretty sure that's not what he was referring to :D
  8. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,122   +1,144

    Lest your fanboi glasses bling you, this exact same conversation about cross-play happened last generation too, but sony was all for it and MS was all against it.
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  9. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,855   +655

    Rocket League is cross play PS4 and Steam? Last I played it I remember playing against PSN players.
  10. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 509   +266

    Source on which games? Parity for the online services is just now being reached as Microsoft was well ahead last generation in their service and security.

    Now that Sony and Nintendo are charging annually for multiplayer crossplay makes a ton more sense.

    ETA: This is kind of definitive in proving my point - the PS4 was the first Sony console to require PS Plus for online play. Prior to that crossplay between consoles wouldn't have been an option for Microsoft due to Sony's poor service and obvious competitive advantage (free multiplayer).
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  11. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +67

    We are already lucky that Sony allows proper voice communications this generation. I remember buying Red Dead Redemption on PS3 and playing with friends, difficult to hook up and then finding that if one of us went into the menus (to look at maps if I remember correctly) or transitioned to another instance, they could no longer talk to us. Because Sony Japan thought notifications and chatting outside of games would "disturb" people I read. At least they got that sorted this time round.

    I see this reaction from Sony as defensive rather than "They are in the lead and don't need to bother". They don't have backwards compatibility and streamed games (PS NOW) are overpriced and don't perform well. The PS Pro may have been released too early since it felt a little half baked (but cheaper than the xb1x will be) and the Playstation 5 is currently being designed. If it doesn't run all the current PS4 games, there will be some problems but surely they won't make that mistake. In the meantime Microsoft do have an enormous base of players when you consider Windows PCs as well as Xboxes and Sony don't really have that to fall back on. Plus Microsoft has the money from Windows behind them so they aren't going anywhere.

    I would like to see Microsoft gain some more traction with the play anywhere titles, backwards compatibility and subscription plans (EA Access and Game Pass), then see the Xbox1X released as the mainstream console in a couple of years when the components might be cheaper and see if Sony can still hold on to their sales lead with the mountain of 360 and enhanced titles that will be available to MS customers.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  12. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,122   +1,144

    Defiance was the easiest one to find. there were a few other games as well, but searches today all come up with the current PS4 v XBONE debate.

    I will post if I can find more. Point is, MS is just as much about control as sony is.

    EDIT: MS also was against multi platform for FF 14 relaunch, and that was as recent as 2015. They eventually changed their decision, at the same time they WERE against it for awhile.

    MS also tanked cross platform with the PC in 2010, only to reverse their decision with the underperforming XBONE
  13. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +67

    Just quickly, their decision to allow it now probably has a lot to do with Windows 10 and their trying to grow the Xbox ecosystem out to other devices. They didn't have that ability in 2010 with Windows 7.
  14. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 509   +266

    Did you read the headline and not the article?
    All of that (including the rumor crossplay was tested was from a single source and therefore all true or all conjecture.

    Yukka is heading down the right path. Again PS3/X360 is a non-starter as no company can compete with another charging $50 for a service while the other's is free when that service is exactly the same on both platforms. You can insinuate Microsoft opened PC/X1 crossplay because they were "behind" while I can say it it was a way to grow gaming on Win10 and increase revenue from their software store introduced in Win8. One is showing their "fanboi glasses" while the other is describing a successful revenue trend championed by Apple back when they launched iTunes and the App Store.
  15. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,122   +1,144

    Yeah, you need to take those glasses off. YOU said
    and when I provided sources showing that microsoft was JUST as controlling of the situation as sony, you backpedal and attempt to change the conversation to how a free and pay for service cant compete (which has nothing to do with cross platform servers) and then try to steer the conversation to apple (what does linking the xbox and windows 10 online communities have to do with apple's closed garden app model? zilch).

    We are talking here about a company's willingness to participate in cross platform play, not how they are monetizing their individual platforms. Stop trying to change the subject when you have been proven wrong. Especially when fees have nothing to do with it, because as you will notice, games like rocket league are sold through steam, which has no subscription fees or online fees, yet they can maintain servers just fine. It's almost like monitization and cross-platform are two different subjects, and you are trying to construct a strawman argument because you cant admit you were wrong.
  16. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 509   +266

    That statement stands alone. It's your bias that has an issue with it.
    Comparing the 360/PS3 era to the current era to prove your point without taking into account the differences in services, costs, and giant pivot software in general has taken over the last 10 years clearly demonstrates you lack a fundamental understanding of the current climate.
    Again you're not taking into account the entire situation. PC and Xbox1 can cross play. PC and PS4 can cross play. PS4 and Xbox1 do not have the ability to cross play. Microsoft and the developers say it's possible and all that's needed a Sony's cooperation which they are forgoing to maintain their advantage.

    Comparing that to the situation back in the last generation where the PS3's multiplayer platform was substandard to Microsoft's (in both service and security) and didn't cost $50 per year is a massive red herring. PS4 and Xbox1 were built around multiplayer unlike the consoles released in 2005-06. Xbox Live and PSPlus grew out of the last generation into what they are now; there's no point in comparing last gen to this gen.
  17. jaxonian

    jaxonian TS Rookie

    Screw them. If they want to be all on their own, I'm very happy to leave them that way. This is the company who charged us $175 for a required and proprietary $10 USB WiFi transmitter so that two pieces of their own very expensive entertainment system could talk to one another. That was the end of Sony for me. I don't care what they come up with. I don't need it.
  18. PinothyJ

    PinothyJ TS Guru Posts: 475   +28

    Yes, but do you think Microsoft would have implemented a lot of those expensive features had they been the biggest fish in the pond? When you cannot compete you have to make news things, new reasons for people to be excited about you.

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