“You cannot do cross-play in ’76,'” Howard told German publication GameStar.de (via CNET) in a recent interview. “We’d really love that but right now we can’t. Sony is not as helpful as everyone would like.”
Sony is under a lot of pressure right now thanks to the lack of cross-platform multiplayer on its PlayStation 4 console. Competitors Microsoft and Nintendo are allowing it in certain titles like “Fortnite,” “Rocket League,” and “Minecraft,” but Sony refuses to participate.
“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,” PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan said recently. “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.”
Former Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley offered another reason for the company’s reluctance to embrace cross-play in June. “When I was at Sony, the stated reason internally for this was money,” he said on Twitter. “They didn’t like someone buying something on a Xbox and it being used on a PlayStation. Simple as that. Dumb reason, but there it is.”
PlayStation 4 cross-play is not completely off the table. Sony Interactive Entertainment America CEO and president Shawn Layden talked about the issue with Eurogamer at the Gamelab conference in June and said the company is listening to its fans and is “looking at a lot of the possibilities.”
“You can imagine that the circumstances around [cross-play] affect a lot more than just one game,” he said. “I’m confident we’ll get to a solution which will be understood and accepted by our gaming community, while at the same time supporting our business.”
Variety reached out to Bethesda and Sony Interactive Entertainment for comment, but they did not immediately respond.