At the end of the last generation, something most people probably thought was impossible happened; it became possible to play multiplayer with and against each other on different formats. As a result, you could play with friends having other consoles than yourself, and online games also got longer lifetime as there suddenly was a single larger group playing rather that have it divided into several separate formats. Added to that is also the ease of people who wanted to move between formats.
It's no secret that Sony was reluctant and worked against this, despite having the tagline "This is for the players" for PlayStation 4, while Microsoft and Nintendo latched on to the concept of cross-play. As the complaints against Sony became bigger, it was finally allowed to some extent with several limitations, but even with this in mind we're somewhat surprised how hard they fought against it.
With the trial between Epic and Apple, several interesting and classified details have emerged that we have been able to report on in recent days, and here comes another regarding Sony's cross-play. It's The Verge who noted in documents how hard Epic worked to get Sony to agree to let Fortnite fans play between formats. Among other things, Epic's vice president of business development reveals that they made the proposal: "We announce crossplay in conjunction with Sony. Epic goes out of its way to make Sony look like heroes."
However, Sony refused and their senior director of developer relations from a few years ago, Gio Corsi, replied:
"As you know, many companies are exploring this idea and not a single one can explain how cross-console play improves the Playstation business,"
In the end, it became possible after Sony introduced a system in which publishers had to pay Sony money to allow cross-play, something they are the only ones demanding to this day, according to the Epic boss Tim Sweeney. We hope that Sony will rethink this position sooner rather than later, of course everyone should be able to play with each other if they want to regardless of format. That is being for the players.