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Sony Blocking Accounts Between Devices - UPDATE: Sony starting to allow crossplay (Fortnite, Rocket League)

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I've been saying for over a decade that all console manufacturers should stop blocking crossplatform multiplayer.

 

There are no insurmountable technical reasons stopping it, but I expect there will be some legal entanglements to sort out before Sony can change their policy (if indeed they do). The purchases thing is the biggest pain and Epic will have to be negotiating that separately with each linked platform.

 

There are a bunch of reasons this isn't easy to solve, and they're not all unilaterally controlled by any one party:

1. You're buying the same thing under different contract terms via each store.

2. The paper trail for dealing with refunds and tax is more complicated.

3. The kicker (and the reason the other console platforms versus mobile or PC are the issue): Sony's legal/finance guys will likely need assurance that Nintendo/MS aren't able to undercut them or offer drastically game changing/appealing exclusive items. If you play on one platform but jump to another just to use the store for them that's worse than not hosting that player at all.

 

It made sense to block Minecraft because MS were demanding players open an XBL account. It was (shitty but) understandable to block Rocket League because it wasn't a big enough hit to justify making an exception.

 

You would think Fortnite would be the straw that broke the camel's back, but bear in mind that Rockstar weren't able to force the issue at the height of GTA hype. Although that was a few years back.

 

I don't believe anyone (except US journalists who get sent free hardware) is going to switch their main home console platform on the basis of this. But it's the start of a trend, more and more games are going to be platform agnostic.

 

Also (because, hey, it's me ;) ): MS spent the entire last two last console gens enforcing the same policy, as well as making developers build extra content if they wanted to port their games to Xbox after launching elsewhere. Look at the insane situation with Modern Warfare multiplayer on PC (where Windows Store and Steam versions are incompatible) to see how committed they are to a happy clappy crossplatform utopia when there isn't easy PR capital to be gained.

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Blimey, Reggie got interviewed on Fox In a segment about this and Sony shares dropping because of it.

 

 

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It's also made Fortune.

 

http://fortune.com/2018/06/14/sony-playstation-fortnite-nintendo-switch/

 

Quote

Still, Sony hasn’t said anything since it commented on the controversy to the BBC. And as time goes on, the gamers are only getting louder. Whether Sony will do something to quell the unrest, however, is anybody’s guess.

Sony did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment on Sony’s moves.

 

Sony seem to be taking the approach of sticking their head in the sand and hoping that it all just goes away.

 

tumblr_nemgdabEiN1r8f85do2_400.gif

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12 hours ago, Jarik said:

It's at times like these that i'm grateful that we still have competition between the big game companies.  The PS3, The Xbox One, the Wii U... when one platform holder stops listening to it's customers & tries to impose its own view of what gaming should be, we can speak with a voice they can't ignore & take our business elsewhere.

 

Seems to me like competition interacts in weird ways with a situation like this. Sony allow cross-play with things they are NOT in competition with (Android, PC) while blocking those that they are. And of course, if there were literally no competition (i.e. only one console platform) it can't happen by default.

It's not consumer friendly though, whatever it is.

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Checking any official Sony twitter account is funny right now. Pretty much every one is just bland PR tweets followed up by waves of angry posts about this issue.

 

 
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They really should have got Phil and Reggie together at E3 to do that. It would have been the highlight. 

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According to Eurogamer, Sony “aren’t speaking to specialist press” at E3 so they can’t ask them about this directly. 

 

 

Their arrogance:

 

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5 minutes ago, mdn2 said:

They really should have got Phil and Reggie together at E3 to do that. It would have been the highlight. 

 

It would have been brilliant and would have upped the pressure on them further. 

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Unless I'm misinterpreting some of the earlier posts, this issue is being heavily watered down by the fact people keep bringing up cross-play.

 

Cross-play is something you can understand Sony not liking or allowing from a business perspective, but the much more serious issue here (which surely no one can agree with?) is that if you merely have the audacity to log into your Epic account on a PS4 you are then no longer able to access your account on other consoles. Meaning even if you've never even played Fortnite on a PS4, your purchases and progression from playing on an Xbox can't follow you to the Switch - because of Sony. That's just odd more than anything.

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17 hours ago, Uzi said:

What does Sony have to gain from locking purchases being usable on their account? I'd say cynically that it would be to encourage that microtransactions only be made through their own store but they allow account sharing with PC and mobile so is it literally that they won't want items bought on MS/Nintendo e-stores available on theirs? I'd understand petty/terrible decisions from a business sheer greed perspective but even that isn't viable here. Pretty awful attitude. 

 

I assume they don't want to set any precedent whatsoever in terms of crossplatform support with their direct rivals. Microsoft and Nintendo in their current positions can afford to be pally with the direct competition, as they feel there is more to be gained from doing so than not, which isn't the case for Sony, given their huge install base lead.

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Obviously Epic could work around it but I think it is such a technical pain in the balls they've thrown their hands up and said "fuck it, let Sony sort it." And rightly so, it's of Sony's making.

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2 hours ago, mushashi said:

 

I assume they don't want to set any precedent whatsoever in terms of crossplatform support with their direct rivals. Microsoft and Nintendo in their current positions can afford to be pally with the direct competition, as they feel there is more to be gained from doing so than not, which isn't the case for Sony, given their huge install base lead.


Additionally they have no control over their rivals stores, or achievements, DLC sales. so they cannot be sure a player has earned X achievement, bought Y DLC, killed Z people with headshots because they have zero control over their rivals data, store, saves..

Also if one console (or PC, of course) is vulnerable to hacks or cheats, then they stand to lose out - take your account to Steam, for an example, unlock all DLC with a hack or cheat then go back to PSN and Sony miss on the percentages.

Not saying they are right in doing this - I personally think its a stupid move from the PR alone, whoever is at fault, and is probably down to arrogance or greed rather than hacking worries but there are valid reasons to do it.

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3 hours ago, SozzlyJoe said:

Obviously Epic could work around it but I think it is such a technical pain in the balls they've thrown their hands up and said "fuck it, let Sony sort it." And rightly so, it's of Sony's making.

 

It isn’t a technical pain in the balls. It’s a lookup for data they already have associated with the account.

 

its purely a legal/commercial pain of the balls with respect to their relationship with Sony.

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4 hours ago, dan_tm said:

Unless I'm misinterpreting some of the earlier posts, this issue is being heavily watered down by the fact people keep bringing up cross-play.

 

Cross-play is something you can understand Sony not liking or allowing from a business perspective, but the much more serious issue here (which surely no one can agree with?) is that if you merely have the audacity to log into your Epic account on a PS4 you are then no longer able to access your account on other consoles. Meaning even if you've never even played Fortnite on a PS4, your purchases and progression from playing on an Xbox can't follow you to the Switch - because of Sony. That's just odd more than anything.

 

Thats what I think is the issue here too. Cross platform play I am fine with Sony controlling if they want. Thats up to them. And I do get why they might want to restrict all that, and if thats the decision they make, all well and good. I would never expect to be able to download dlc for a game that I bought on the PS4 on the Xbox one if I get that version of the same game. 

 

The issue here is that it's a 3rd party account, and it already works fine on PS4 with Mac, PC, iOS and Android. Sony have shot themselves in the foot by allowing account sharing with those platforms and not MS and Nintendo.

 

3 hours ago, SozzlyJoe said:

Obviously Epic could work around it but I think it is such a technical pain in the balls they've thrown their hands up and said "fuck it, let Sony sort it." And rightly so, it's of Sony's making.

 

And I don't know why Epic are getting a free pass on this, as they had to have agreed this with Sony and implemented it on their end. Every is rightly bashing Sony but Epic should be getting bashed as well, because they signed an agreement at some point with Sony to do this, and they didn't tell anyone it was happening before the game got released on the Switch. Both companies have messed up here.

 

The problem Sony will be thinking about is that they don't want cross-platform play at all, but if they change the policy on this game because it's a 3rd party account, then other publishers might use the same tactics to say that their games should be cross play/cross purchase as it's linked to their company's account. And suddenly we have a ton of 3rd party logins where you will expect to be able to share purchases and progress rewards. It's a bit of a mess really.

 

And people shouting like in that tweet above isn't helping. Anyone who played mainly on their PS4 would have bought their battle pass through the PSN store. And Sony will want them to do that again, as they make money from it, not buying it on a competitors store and enjoying the benefits on their PS4. I think the reason there has not been a quick response is that there is a lot to try and work out while not leaving things open to interpretation on the future. People in America shouting Antitrust law will have zero luck because the content was bought on the Sony platform in most cases.

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On 15/06/2018 at 19:07, Vorgot said:

And I don't know why Epic are getting a free pass on this, as they had to have agreed this with Sony and implemented it on their end.

 

Because the alternative for Epic is to ignore 70 million potential customers?

Yes... that's clearly where the bargaining power in that relationship is prior to Fortnite taking off - with the Developer, not the Gatekeeper.

 

Similarly we should be blaming Valve for Apple blocking Steam Link on iOS.

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1 hour ago, footle said:

 

Because the alternative for Epic is to ignore 70 million potential customers?

Yes... that's clearly where the bargaining power in that relationship is prior to Fortnite taking off - with the Developer, not the Gatekeeper.

 

Similarly we should be blaming Valve for Apple blocking Steam Link on iOS.

Completely different situation. Apple block a full app, Epic have put a block on their accounts that have linked with a PS4 because the bigger boy told them too. I get why they did it, the PS4 has the biggest installed base, but they still agreed to it and told no-one up front that it would happen on the switch. But it's still an Epic account. You can share that PS4 account linked Epic account with iOS, Android and Mac, so the block is happening at the Epic end. Both companies need to sort this out. 

 

They have also said nothing yet about all this as far as I can see, and they should be taking some of the flak for this, though the majority of it deserves to be aimed at Sony's aggressive stance. 

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I don’t think Epic could have seen how big Fortnite would become so having it on the PS4 would have been more important at that time - I’m not aware of other games that allow content across platforms so no precedent.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Shimmyhill said:

I don’t think Epic could have seen how big Fortnite would become so having it on the PS4 would have been more important at that time - I’m not aware of other games that allow content across platforms so no precedent.

 

 

 

Quite “Epic accepting Sony’s standard terms from a position of weakness is Epics fault” is trying to move blame off Sony to an extent that’s ridiculous.

if Epic could, they would. If they didn’t want to, they’d not have quite such a trolling message when the account is blocked.

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For the record, I'm not trying to shift the blame from Sony at all, they are acting like school bullies at the moment. I just think Epic need to be doing a bit more and pushing Sony on this. There may be lots of discussions going on the background, I hope there are anyway.

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Not sure if this is the right thread but I think it's appropriate.

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