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Bethesda: "Sony is not as helpful as everyone would like" on cross-play

There will be no cross-play in Fallout 76, Todd Howard says - and Microsoft is not the problem

Bethesda is the latest company to speak negatively about Sony's stance on allowing cross-play between PlayStation and Xbox.

Speaking at Gamelab in Barcelona last week, Bethesda Game Studios' Todd Howard was asked by GameStar about the possibility of cross-play in Fallout 76 - which is due to launch in November.

"You cannot do cross-play in [Fallout] 76," he said, as reported by CNET. "We'd really love that but right now we can't."

In explaining the reason why, Howard was more forthright than some influential figures in the industry. When asked to elaborate, he said, "Sony is not as helpful as everyone would like."

Howard's comments are more direct than those offered by Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime, for example. Despite Nintendo's customers being directly affected by Sony's strategy, Nintendo of America's boss made no distinction between PlayStation and Xbox as the root of the issue.

"You have companies like mine that encourage cross-play and enable cross-play. You have a developer and content owner that wants cross-play and is encouraging cross-play, and then you have the other platform holders and what it is that they do," he said at E3 last month.

"And when it comes to other platform holders, as much as you have influence on other platform holders, I don't. And that's a decision that each of them are making, and some are supporting cross-play and some are not."

Nintendo has since made its position clear, in the form of a trailer featuring Switch and Xbox users playing together. Key figures and companies within the industry speaking out could be essential if the situation is ever likely to change, as Sony's reason for denying its users access to other console platforms is allegedly rooted in one thing alone: money.

According to John Smedley, who was president of Sony Online Entertainment, "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."

Smedley made the statement in a tweet, which has since been deleted. You can still read it over on Variety.

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Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.