Fornite Battle Royale developer Epic will support cross-platform play between Xbox One, PC, iOS and Android. The news was revealed during Microsoft’s debut Inside Xbox broadcast on Saturday, March 10. Last week, the developer announced that PS4, PC, iOS and Android users will be able to play the same version of the game together. Thanks to Sony and Microsoft’s ongoing feud with regards to cross-platform play, PS4 and Xbox One owners will not be able to play Fornite Battle Royale together.
“Contrary to what may have been implied, Microsoft has long been a leading voice in supporting cross-platform play, connecting players across PC, mobile and all consoles. We’ve been working together with them over the last several months to make this possible, and will bring this functionality to Fortnite players on Xbox right along with other platforms,” a post on Epic’s blog announcing Xbox cross-platform play for Fortnite said.
That tone is interesting to say the least, given that Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney had lambasted Microsoft for its approach towards UWP and Windows 10 and its impact on gaming a couple of years back.
If, like everyone else, you are wondering why you Fortnite players on Xbox One and PS4 still won’t be able to play with each other, here’s a little explanation from Sony Worldwide Studios Head Shuhei Yoshida on why PS4 and Xbox One cross-play is not possible.
“Because PC is an open platform it’s much more straightforward,” Yoshida had said in March 2016, when the same subject came up with reference to Rocket League. “Connecting two different closed networks is much more complicated so we have to work with developers and publishers to understand what it is they are trying to accomplish… We also have to look at the technical aspect – and the technical aspect could be the easiest. We also have to look at policy issues and business issues as well.”
In a conversation with Gadgets 360, Mark Little, Executive Producer at WWE 2K18 developer Visual Concepts said enabling cross-play is a lot more complicated than just flipping a switch.
“I can only imagine the complexities of those conversations between the two [Sony and Microsoft] and some of those of complexities come in the areas of stuff like purchasable content and if ‘we allow cross-platform play, what does it mean to purchase on one platform and play it on the other’,” Little had said. So there’s a lot of really complicated issues. It’s not our problem. It’s on the first-party side. There’s a lot of interesting things they need to figure out as first-parties that has nothing to do with us. Once they figure it out we’ll figure out what our plan is.”