There were some major surprises in terms of cross-platform play at E3 2017. Minecraft was revealed to be getting a free “unified edition” that would allow players on PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and all mobile platforms to play together. Then, Rocket League was announced for Nintendo Switch, and would also support Cross-play between Xbox One and PC. What you might have noticed is that PS4 is not listed on either of those titles. Turns out, Sony blocked cross-play between those games.
Turns out, Sony didn’t want to hurt their current fan base, as SIE global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan said to Eurogamer, “We’ve got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base.”
He went on to specifically talk about Minecraft:
“We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe,” he said. “Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it’s something we have to think about very carefully.”
While it’s fair that they’re considering their fanbase in such decisions, it’s curious that they’re doing it for these titles specifically. As a lot of players of these games on PS4 want cross-play capabilities.