Studio Wildcard is confirmed to have Ark: Survival Evolved cross-play running on PlayStation 4 internally, according to Co-Creative Director Jeremy Stieglitz. Stieglitz had been discussing Ark‘s potential Xbox One X settings on Twitter when he was asked by a player if there will “ever be a way” to cross-play between Xbox and PlayStation. Replying that while cross-play ran fine internally, Stieglitz added that it would not go live because “Sony won’t allow it.”
Ark: Survival Evolved is currently planning on enabling cross-play between Xbox platforms and the Windows 10 version of the game. The feature will tentatively be enabled coinciding with the release of the Xbox One X and Ark becoming an Xbox Play Anywhere title this November.
But details were somewhat ambiguous and Wildcard could have different plans in mind. There’s also the problem of cross-play not working for Steam players of Ark, as the feature is currently going to be a Windows 10 Store exclusive on PC.
We have it working internally, but currently Sony won't allow it 🙁
— Jeremy Stieglitz (@arkjeremy) August 18, 2017
Cross-play support for the PlayStation 4, however, remains a pipe dream. Wildcard’s comments mirror other studios that are experimenting with cross-play, including Rocket League developer Psyonix. Sony is simply not interested in implementing cross-play between consoles. That said, it’s something that these studios are still implementing cross-play internally with hope that Sony might eventually change its mind.
It’s also worth considering that PlayStation 4 and Xbox One cross-play likely isn’t an option even if Sony wanted in, despite what Stieglitz is saying. The fact that Ark: Survival Evolved is Windows 10 PC cross-play exclusive implies there’s an exclusivity contract between Wildcard and Microsoft. It’s a stretch to imagine that contract covers a potential Sony change of heart to enable cross-play between consoles.
Those who purchase Ark: Survival Evolved either through the Windows 10 Store or on Xbox One will garner all of the benefits of cross-play and cross-buy when those features are eventually implemented. However, Studio Wildcard has already implemented the full release pricing, bumping the price from $29.99 up to $59.99.
Jumping in now is going to come at a cost, but the alternative is hoping for a Black Friday sale which may or may not come. Moreover, not being able to capitalize on Steam sales for cross-play is going to be disappointing for some.
Ark: Survival Evolved is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One in early access, which a full release on August 29.