Sony has been in the firing line this week as the company reportedly ‘refused’ to allow Minecraft cross-platform play. A Minecraft cross-platform update was announced at E3 2017 and would allow players on PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and more to play together, but no PlayStation consoles will be part of the fun.
Although Sony stated that it was about safe-guarding younger Minecraft players, comments by Jonas Märtensson, the CEO of Minecraft developer Mojang, seem to contradict that. In a new interview with pressfire.no (translated by fans), Märtensson revealed that the team is “tying everything together with Xbox Live. So you log in with Xbox Live.”
The executive confirmed that this is even the case for the Nintendo Switch version of the game. “Everyone that’s in on this, all the platform holders, have been pretty pragmatic and understanding of that what we’re trying to do is create a good experience for the players,” he said. Märtensson also said that “We needed a good system to connect everyone, and Xbox Live is a good system.”
While it’s a stance that many will disagree with, many can understand why Sony doesn’t want PlayStation players to sign up for an Xbox Live account, even if it may be free of charge. Over 60 million PS4s have been sold and the console is the clear market leader, but if it had all of those email addresses from PS4 owners, Microsoft could launch an email marketing campaign designed to poach players away from the Sony machine and close that gap.
But this doesn’t explain why the company is blocking Rocket League cross-platform play on PS4 as well. This would not require an Xbox Live account and Rocket League developer Psyonix has stated that it is only because of politics that PS4 players cannot play with those on Xbox One (and Nintendo Switch when that version launches), and that the tech for full cross play is ready to go.
Whatever the true reason is, many agree that company needs to address it properly and soon. There is already growing negativity surrounding the company and its stance against backward compatibility on PS4 and Microsoft has also hit back at the company for its cross-play decision. In order to avoid its reputation taking any more knocks, Sony may have to act.