Microsoft won't allow Xbox One/PC cross-platform play, says War Thunder dev

[UPDATE] Microsoft says, "For developers interested in enabling cross-platform game play between Xbox One and PC, we work with them closely to meet their development needs and ensure a great user experience."

[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, a Microsoft representative provided GameSpot the following statement:

"For developers interested in enabling cross-platform game play between Xbox One and PC, we work with them closely to meet their development needs and ensure a great user experience."

The original story is below.

The Xbox One is technically capable of supporting cross-platform play, but Microsoft is not currently allowing it, according to War Thunder developer Gaijin Entertainment CEO Anton Yudintsev.

"Microsoft is not allowing cross-play completely; which means [War Thunder] cannot be on Xbox One," Yudintsev told GameSpot at GDC last week in San Francisco.

Why would Microsoft block cross-platform play? According to Yudintsev, Microsoft needs to certify game servers as a means to ensure a "good experience" for all players. This isn't possible under the current circumstances, Yudintsev said.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer said previously that cross-platform play between Xbox One and PC "makes sense," teasing that he's "not allowed to leak things," suggesting this feature may actually be in the works. We've reached out to a Microsoft representative for a further comment.

Cross-platform play is vital for a game like War Thunder because the install base of new consoles like the Xbox One and PS4 is too small for players to have an enjoyable experience, Yudintsev said.

The PS4 version of War Thunder, available only in Europe right now, will support cross-play beginning as early as next month, Yudintsev said. The reason this feature has yet to go live comes down to an unspecified updating issue that Yudintsev said Sony engineers are working to fix right now.

As for why Gaijin Entertainment elected to side with Sony instead of Microsoft, Ydintsev said it's because Sony is significantly more accommodating to indie developers, specifically those who make free-to-play games.

"Sony is much more open to indie developers and free-to-play games in general. So Sony has been in the free-to-play market for a few years already, they started on the PlayStation 3," Yudintsev said. "Not only that, but Microsoft has a lot of unspoken limitations like if you want to make a free-to-play game you have to talk to an account manager and there are no set of rules; you need to communicate them; and the rule depends on the [individual account manager]. If he likes your game you get approval, if he doesn't you don't get approval."

"Sony is much more open to indie developers and free-to-play games in general" -- Yudintsev

Yudintsev said one individual Microsoft account manager decides your game's fate. This person is the only who says "This game is good, this game is bad," Yudintsev said.

"I don't think it's a correct assumption that anyone can be the one who can choose which game is good and which is bad because each game is for a specific audience," he said.

Yudintsev said Minecraft is a good example of the faults in Microsoft's indie program. "It's a very fun game, a lot of people play it, and nowadays everyone understands it's a very good game. But it would not be happening [first] on Xbox Live."

"When it was released it was strange...it had very, let's say, specific graphics and not much of the gameplay," Yudintsev said, referencing the game's alpha release. "It suddenly became very popular and after that it appears on Xbox 360 as well. But it could not happen the other way. There's no way, I am pretty sure, that Microsoft would ever approve that game to be on Xbox Live Arcade before it became popular on the PC."

Yudintsev stressed that Microsoft's policies for indie games are beginning to change for the better with the arrival of the ID@Xbox program. But he made clear that Microsoft still has a ways to go to catch up to Sony.

"[Microsoft] has to change and they will change," Yudintsev said. "They key is that they understand the necessesity of change, so they will. We'll see. I hope we will be [on Xbox One] some day as well. I have nothing against the platform itself especially because I'm not one of those guys who worries about which is better [Xbox One or PS4]. I don't care. It's just the hardware. At the end of the day it's only about the quality of the game and the gameplay experience."

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

381 comments
ou812vhdrm
ou812vhdrm

This article is pointless.... lots of pointless articles slamming the Xbox one..... yet it keeps getting better after each update... and the Xbox team keeps improving it bit every update...... and they will keep doing this...... despite what all the Sony fans say...... the fan boys get nervous...... only thing they can do it lash out.....lol

playmynutz
playmynutz

cmon windows sync your two systems together for online play

mikees1
mikees1

Yes I'm sure sony paid a lot to this guy (sarcasm not agreement) considering this guys got nothing to do with it and just recounting what he's been told by MS. Bloody fan boy.

devilzzz1983
devilzzz1983

Xbox One doing more and more each day to make people not want their system.  GO MS!

ceromaster
ceromaster

More importantly, who the hell cares about cross-platform gaming so much that it's  negative for a console to not have it? At this point demanding it sounds more like entitlement than criticism. If you think MS is being greedy just for the sheer fact that they don't allow something that's not really a gaming requirement, then you've already crossed into tool status; and yes this was directed at the comments.

insloanwetrust
insloanwetrust

There have been a good few PS games that have had cross play with PC. I like this because some of the games on console don't attract that big of a console crowd but the PC crowd are into them games. So it's nice to have a lot of different people to play with/against. Microsoft like to have complete control over things. Understandable.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

FPS games would not be a fair competition for console gamers, becasue PC gamers would own them

Duckynevada
Duckynevada

Anyone remember shadow run from 2007? It had cross play and the 360 users had a huge advantage over pc players due to the aim assist, after a couple of weeks the pc player count died. 

Charliesix
Charliesix

War Thunder's PS4 player base is already good enough, it doesn't need crossplay

Caanimal
Caanimal

This isn't the first time micro&soft have said no to cross platform interactions.  I remember when the PS3 & 360 first came out, Sony went to micro&soft and brought the idea forth, micro&soft said absolutely not.  There exact reason why not I never read but I'm sure it's because micro&soft is nothing but a greedy corporation that is like a child and wants all the marbles for himself.  If any company is the bane to video gaming it IS micro&soft...

madgame23
madgame23

Wow, but yet Titanfall has cross platform play?  Unless they changed that?  When it started I had spoken to several xbox live players on the xbox one, I was on PC.

Darkfall_05
Darkfall_05

Why not unify gaming platforms? Because they want to remain segmented. 'They' as in all parties. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo will only see the negative impact on maintaining their foothold of their consumer grasp.

e.g:

John Jnr. only has the Xbox One and loves Call of Duty
Bob Jnr only has the PS4 and loves Killzone
John Jnr. is a bit more persuasive and convinces Bob Jnr to trade in his PS4 and get the Xbox One so that they both can play Call of Duty together... simple

hotwog21
hotwog21

Micro$oft = anything to stay in the headlines

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

if a pc game need a controller i dont see what difference it would make. Its only the FPS games and RTS games, that it would be unfair.


But turn based games like X-com , civilization, heroes, sports games like NBA 2K, driving games (i prefer the PC driving games over the console racing games however, i just like the feel of them more and they normally have way more content with mods, than most Console racing games).


 The only reason i can see why they would stop this from happening, is they want more people to buy an Xbox. Thats the obvious reason, but then again most people that play PC games use Microsoft Windows. So whatever. Join them together would be better for us PC users. Especially for Sports games and fighting games. More people to play with for PC users.

grin89
grin89

if the xbox1 and ps4 had keyboard and mouse compatibility for all games i wouldnt be a pc gamer.

Vinnvn
Vinnvn

Cross-platform play with PC LOL you want all the xbots to be raped by PC users?

Keyboard and mouse vs shitty shitbox controller?

1080p to 4k vs 720p to 792p?

120 to 60 fps vs 16 to 45 fps?

LOL vs RIP?

Zombrex
Zombrex

I'm sure Microsoft will fully support cross platform play with PC at some point like they did with Shadowrun...and then immediately stop support altogether and abandon the idea of cross platform play.

C-THREE
C-THREE

I hate a lot of talk about nothing (I don't hate the xbox one as a console though). what sort of details or what did they really even say in their reply on cross-platforming? nothing. they shouldn't have even replied.

McGregor
McGregor

Simple solution. Require PC users to play with a controller when playing cross platform.

McGregor
McGregor

I know I'd pay for 'Xbox live for PC' to avoid purchasing an xb1, and be able to play games with friends that only have an xb1. I'd even limit myself to a controller if they required.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Are they trying this hard to be assholes now?

ItchyIsVegeta
ItchyIsVegeta

Amazing how anti-gamer Microsoft is with the Xbox One, when they were so "by gamers, for gamers" with the original Xbox.  Everyone in the Xbox division should be fired at this point... PERIOD!

n3rdy909
n3rdy909

i slap trolls wit half cooked bacon slabs.....

milleniaxender
milleniaxender

From the looks of the UPDATE to this article. Looks like Xbox One owners will get cross-platform game play! and with that. Hope Square-Enix bring Final Fantasy XIV over to Xbox One!! To HELL with the HATE TRAIN!

Richmaester6907
Richmaester6907

I recall shadowrun being cross platform on the xbox 360 had some damn good times back in those days. I don't see the harm in them actually going for it in the future. 

Llama345
Llama345

@ceromaster Well with games like War Thunder and FFXIV that want cross platform for their customer I'd say it is fairly important. I would love to play FFXIV on the One, and War Thunder looks awesome. I have a few friends that haven't decided what to buy (one or 4) and still play PC, this could bridge the gap until that time. 

sampson3121
sampson3121

@ceromaster tha'ts all good, my son has his ps4, and next month it's gonna be fun playing war thunder with him on my pc.

it's all good :)

xdluffy
xdluffy

Lmao say what you want pc boy, but if we ever cross paths in titanfall ur mouse aint gonna save you ;)

Intellijosh
Intellijosh

@bongsyas_23 I used to believe that, but I play titanfall on pc with the 360-for-pc controller (my mouse sucks right now), and I still consistently get the top two spots every round.

sampson3121
sampson3121

@Charliesix but why not? i mean ill be having a game with my son who has a ps4, and i'm on my pc...kinda sweet actually.

Caanimal
Caanimal

@madgame23 Did you play w/ them or did you just TALK to them?  Besides, all forms of Titanfall are played on the same micro&soft in house servers, so I wouldn't be surprised if there was some interaction between the various versions.  I'm fairly sure a PC player can't play w/ a Xbone player nor a 360 player, the PC player would have a far greater advantage w/ all the tweaking you can do w/ a keyboard & mouse set up.

xdluffy
xdluffy

Another pc supremacist Another pc supremacist talking nonsense lol your hardware will never make up for your lack of skill

arrowhead927
arrowhead927

@Vinnvn Bring it on

I wanna show people like u that its not just about Hardware

Other console gamers/pc gamers are obsessed with ress   Its not gonna make u game better, its just Eye candy

Seems to be the thing lately


It will be more like 30-60 fps

I play both Xbox and pc so would love to play again my friends  having the choice of xbox or pc to use



LickTheEnvelope
LickTheEnvelope

@ItchyIsVegeta Anti indie dev you mean.  It's funny because they tried very hard on 360 but did it in completely the wrong way.

milleniaxender
milleniaxender

@Richmaester6907 In a few months old article. Phil Spencer was talking about how PC players was destroying console players in Shadowrun! Besides from that! Final Fantasy 11 was cross-platform play too on Xbox360!

Poodger
Poodger

@IntellijoshThe statement still stands as truth, in a very general sense. Naturally, some people can overcome hurdles and defy expectations, but as a general rule, gamepad players will be at a disadvantage when put head to head against M+K players. Your ability to still do well only speaks to your own skills, not the actual advantages themselves.

GarGx1
GarGx1

@arrowhead927 @Vinnvn Resolution gives detail, more detail the easier objects are to spot, especially over a longer range it's a lot more than eye candy.


Low frames per second will get you killed as it takes longer for your machine to display objects and for objects (bullets) to travel across a distance. You may think that the difference between 30 and 60 frames per second is negligible but I can assure you it's the difference between a kill and dying. High frames per second for online games is even more important than high resolution.


Then we have control methods, consoles have analogue controllers where as PC's have anything you want from controllers to HOTAS flight stick setups.

Richmaester6907
Richmaester6907

@milleniaxender @Richmaester6907  Everytime I played the game seemed to be fairly balanced both sides were equally matched most of the time. Its true that I may have been lucky and not ran into a single LEET PC player during my 1000/1000 completion though lol.

mikees1
mikees1

I'm not buying that either. Using a m and k is actually a disability! You've got an expanse of keys each doing something different, all spread out on a 24inch lump of plastic, or a controller where all the buttons you need are mere millimeters from your fingers. Keyboard has not got the instant ease a controller has. One of the half life's was cross platform, keyboard players never destroyed me, neither do keyboard players on war thunder. Graphically, speed and power pcs have the edge, but consoles win hands down in control methods.