Like 'Fortnite,' Sony Won't Join the 'Fallout 76' Crossplay Party

In a video interview with German website Gamestar.de, Bethesda director and executive producer Todd Howard speaks about crossplay for Fallout 76.

"We would love to do that," Howard said, "but right now that's not possible." He added, "Sony isn't being as helpful as we want them to be."

It's currently unclear how crossplay will function for Fallout 76, but crossplay will not take place between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at the moment. However, at a Gamelab conference in Spain, Sony America president and CEO Shawn Layden said the company was mulling over the greater crossplay issue.

"We're hearing it. We're looking at a lot of the possibilities. You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game. 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," Layden told Eurogamer.

After the release of Fortnite on Nintendo Switch, users discovered they were blocked from playing Fortnite when logging in with an account that has ever played Fortnite on PlayStation 4, Sony's stance on crossplay has been the subject of increasing furor. Even if you only ever played Fortnite on PlayStation 4 once and usually play Fortnite on PC or mobile (which are crossplay-compatible), you will still be blocked from using your account on Switch and must create a new account to play.

You see the same error message when trying to log into Fortnite on Xbox One using an account that has played on PlayStation 4, and the error does not appear when switching between the Xbox One and Switch. Not even disconnecting your Epic account from associated platforms helps the problem.

"We're always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience. Fortnite is already a huge hit with PS4 fans, offering a true free-to-play experience so gamers can jump in and play online," Sony said in a statement to the BBC earlier this month.

"With 79 million PS4s sold around the world and more than 80 million monthly active users on PlayStation Network, we've built a huge community of gamers who can play together on Fortnite and all online titles. We also offer Fortnite cross-play support with PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, expanding the opportunity for Fortnite fans on PS4 to play with even more gamers on other platforms."

According to former Sony dev John Smedley, Sony's policy simply comes down to money. "When I was at Sony, the stated reason internally for this was money. They didn't like someone buying something on an Xbox and it being used on a Playstation. simple as that. Dumb reason, but there it is," he stated.

Sony has previously blocked crossplay for other popular games, like Minecraft and Rocket League, but the mind-boggling scale of Fortnite's success (according to Epic, the game boasts over 125 million players) may pressure Sony to bow to gamer demand.

"We embrace working with a developer and enabling them to bring their vision to life," said Nintendo North America chief Reggie Fils-Aime to IGN. "And whether that's Fortnite, whether that's a number of the other games that have cross-platform play on our console, from a developer standpoint that's what we want. And we work hard with them to bring that to life.

"What competitors do is their decision to make. We believe being both developer-forward and fan-forward is in the best interest of the game," he added.

In a statement to Kotaku, Microsoft pointed the finger for the lack of Fortnite crossplay straight at Sony:

"Microsoft has long been a leading voice in encouraging the adoption of cross-platform play and the potential of connecting players across PC, mobile and all consoles. We've worked closely with Nintendo to allow cross-network play between Xbox One and Switch and our offer to do the same with PlayStation players still holds," said a Microsoft representative. "For any other questions regarding Fortnite cross-network play between Xbox and PlayStation, please reach out to Epic or Sony directly."

Fallout 76 was announced at this year's E3 and releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on Nov. 14. Will Sony get its act together by the time November rolls around, or does its draconian response to Fortnite crossplay indicate a total unwillingness to change its policy? Feel free to let us know your thoughts on Fortnite, Fallout 76 and Sony's attitude towards crossplay in our comments section below.