Sony has remained resolute in not allowing cross-platform play for even enormous titles like Fortnite and Minecraft, despite its competition's willingness to throw open the doors on certain titles. Now, Bethesda seems poised to dig in its heels on the issue for one game: The Elder Scrolls: Legends.
In an interview with Game Informer at QuakeCon, Hines repeatedly emphasized the importance of the feature to the Legends experience, stating that both cross-platform play and progress were necessary for the game to be what it was.
"We cannot have a game that works one way across everywhere else except for on this one thing," Hines said. "The way the game works right now on Apple, Google, Steam, and Bethesda.net, it doesn't matter where you buy your stuff, if you play it on another platform that stuff is there. It doesn't matter what platform you play on, you play against everyone else who is playing at that moment. There's no 'Oh, it's easier to control, or it has a better framerate on this system.' It's a strategy card game. It doesn't matter."
When pressed on the issue referencing Sony's reluctance to allow games such as Fortnite, Minecraft, and Ark: Survival Evolved to incorporate cross-platform features with PlayStation releases, Hines stopped barely short of saying that if Sony wouldn't allow it, the game couldn't release on PS4. "We continue to talk to all of our platform partners," he continued. "But those [terms] are essentially non-negotiable. We can't be talking about one version of Legends, where you take your progress with you, and another version where you stay within that ecosystem or its walled off from everything else. That is counter to what the game has been about."
Hines wouldn't specifically call out Sony himself, but reiterated that Bethesda is being clear with its partners about the necessity of the feature as the game nears console release later this year. Last month, Todd Howard noted the frustration of working with Sony on cross-platform play and cited the company as the reason Fallout 76 would have to skip the feature.