Cross-Play Isn't Widely Used, But May Still Come To Games, Says EA

Don't count on it anytime soon.

25 Comments
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Now Playing: Apex Legends The Hunt To Become Champions

Apex Legends from Respawn surprise-launched this week, and already one of the top-requested features is cross-play between its various platforms. During the Q&A portion of a recent earnings call, CEO Andrew Wilson suggested that while their data has found the feature isn't widely used by players, it still plans to utilize it--especially for franchises with big player bases like FIFA.

"We think cross-play and cross-progress is going to be a very important part of our future, and you should anticipate that we'll be doing more in that space," Wilson said. "What our information would suggest to us is that there isn't a tremendous amount of play across devices, but that overall liquidity in any gaming community is a good and positive thing, even if it's only a few people or a small portion of the community that utilizes that.

"We absolutely are looking into that in the context of Apex, and we'll be looking at that across our portfolio over time. We think about franchises with tremendously large communities like FIFA, and we think that they would absolutely benefit from cross-play and cross-progress, as more and more people come into these big communities."

That doesn't sound as if the feature is high on the company's priority list, but it's not ruling it out either. Respawn has hinted that cross-platform play could come to Apex Legends in the future, but it has already ruled out cross-platform progression due to how the basic framework was built.

The EA earnings call also confirmed that in addition to Apex Legends, Respawn has another Titanfall project in the works. We know that it's a "premium game [coming] this year that is a new twist on the Titanfall universe," according to Wilson, and Respawn head Vince Zampella has since confirmed that it isn't a VR game. The earnings call also confirmed a new Need for Speed and Plants vs Zombies are both on the horizon.

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Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Properly implemented cross play is not something a player "enables" - it just happens, and the player shouldn't even notice.

Do you have any idea what you're talking about, EA?

Avatar image for wilem
Wilem

How do they know crossplay isn't used without enabling crossplay in the first place?

Avatar image for FallenOneX
FallenOneX

@wilem: I was just going to say that, you saved me some time.

Avatar image for Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Their data is based on unavailability as its own justification. #stupid

Avatar image for berrlett
Berrlett

This is stuff created in La La Land, perfect world material, will never come through simply because some companies making killer money selling hardware/software on their current business module that doesn't feature rubbing shoulders with competition, call them anti-gamers, anti-consumers bla bla this will never change.

Avatar image for untouchables111
untouchables111

Cross play needs to happen.. so many games that would see new life with a feature like this.. and here we have SOT a game that launched as a cross play game.. going back on the base design...

Avatar image for dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@untouchables111: SOT is still crossplay, they just added the OPTION to turn it off....as nearly every other crossplay game has had.

Avatar image for untouchables111
untouchables111

@dlCHIEF58: 1. yes its an option, but its one that easily 80% are going to use...how so...well thats easy.

a.There are groups of HC PVE players that take over servers to avoid PVP

b. There are sooo many people complaining online about getting matched against PC hackers/cheaters....

2. Other games having the feature is a argument that does not apply...why. well simple. Fortnite, for example was never launched or discussed as a cross play game. the feature was added after the fact. and it was added in a way that does not tamper with the base game function. that is if i load up my ps4 and solo Q...ill NEVER play against anyone but other PS4 players.. i can continue forever enjoying the game as i have.

SOT on the other hand was designed, branded and launched a a PC XB cross play game...remember MS tag line.. buy it once play it anywhere...

Adding a optional feature like this that applies to the base game changes the base game.. we already face empty servers now thats only going to get worse. I expect a easy 20% of XB player to opt out day 1 and eventually it will grow to 80%. leaving the already small pc community with empty servers.

Avatar image for dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@untouchables111: All I see is a lot of ASSUMPTIONS which you are presenting as facts. Let me dissect that for you:

1) Assume much? You have no facts to back this up. While many will choose this option, I think you are exaggerating the percentage greatly...and have nothing to back up that claim either.

a) While this is true, it is a very small percentage of people which do this and it takes a lot of effort and cooperation to pull it off.

b) Also true there are a few (but loud) complaining about supposed PC cheaters...and the majority of them are wrong or ignorant, blaming many for being "PC Hackers" or even just being a PC player (which they assume automatically gives them the edge)....only to find out they were in fact playing against more skilled Xbox players.

2) Your dismissal of this point is quite humorous...and wrong. You gave ONE (bad) example to prop up your argument, allow me to counter with more examples which disprove your point: Rocket League (had PC crossplay at launch on both consoles), Unreal Tournament III on PS3 (had Steam crossplay day 1), DC Universe Online on PS4 (crosssplay with Steam), Street Fighter V (PS4/PC on release), Ark: Survival Evolved (Win 10 release brought crossplay and Play Anywhere options), Gears of War UE, Gears of War 4 and many more. All of them have the option to turn off crossplay with PC. As I said, nearly EVERY game with crossplay in it has the option to turn it off if the player desires, many times it being off at default.

It is STILL very much a crossplay game between PC and Xbox. Also that tagline referred to Play Anywhere initiative, not crossplay. You are also failing to consider the introduction of Mouse/Keyboard play on Xbox which is ALSO releasing in the update, this is something which will prevent many from opting out of PC play since in their minds it negates one of the perceived advantages of PC gaming.

Let me guess, you are one of those guys who thinks Xbox players are easy pickings and fear seeing them go as you will be forced to play on a more even playing field. The game has a low maximum player count per server so your fears of having no one to play with is completely unfounded unless fewer than 20 PC players continue to play the game. With the games recent popularity on Twitch, I doubt you have anything to worry about.

Avatar image for untouchables111
untouchables111

@dlCHIEF58: um your multiple example only provided the literal exact same argument i made....As you said those games had cross play at launch..option or not the games were established as such and did not have the feature added after the fact, nor well after the player base acclimated them selves to the system in place. PC players change setting..console players dont...

How many life long console controller user you know who are itching to switch to KB & M after already playing a game for almost a year now with a controller.... (insert lie here)..., oh you know a few... well they play PC often enough they know the difference..they dont count.

For the rec, i dont shit on xb, ps4 players as a pc player i support as equal play as it gets.. everything else is a GG statement. i dont even PVP in SOT lol.

Changing the system in such a drastic means is wrong. time will prove me right. nothing else to be said.

Avatar image for dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@untouchables111: More assumptions on your part with no facts, and no my examples in no way back up your claim... they plainly refute it. You are just too ignorant and bullheaded to admit I destroyed your argument with FACTS.

You say "PC players change setting..console players dont...", so by your own statement console players won't be changing their settings meaning you are whining over nothing. Furthermore your feeble attempt at a preemptive dismissal ("insert lie here" and "they dont count") is intellectually weak, meaning you have no rebuttal to actual facts and lack the debating skills to back up anything you say. Some will change over, some won't but the option is there if they choose to do so. The ones who think it actually makes a difference will, you can bet on that.

It is not a drastic change, it puts the game in line with just about every other cross-platform game in existence. I personally wasn't a fan of them giving in to people crying over getting owned by PC players or supposed unfair advantages, but only because of the whiners and not because I thought it was a bad idea as you do. I think the option should have been there day 1 though, and with the addition of Arena coming up it is needed at least for the appearance of an even playing field to those who blame their lack of skill on being matched against PC players.

Avatar image for BassMan
BassMan

It's the games with small communities that need cross-play the most. Games like NHL 19. If they merged the PS4 and X1 communities and released the game on PC as well, the community would be a lot healthier.

Avatar image for dlCHIEF58
dlCHIEF58

@BassMan: Not to mention the savings the company hosting the servers would have, being able to consolidate many into shared servers instead of Xbox, PS4, Switch and PC servers for each game.

Avatar image for heidern98
Heidern98

I think what everyone wants is a bigger pool of players to play with, done in a very seamless way. It won't be as if players are even choosing to play cross play, it should just happen naturally. He acts like people chose crossplay as some feature, but I am not surprised that someone from EA sounds clueless and full of it. This feature will cut down on que times for matches in multiplayer games, allow a bigger community, and a longer living game for both popular and niche games. My standpoint is simple, this really helps games like fighters whos online community tends to shrink shortly after release.

Avatar image for BabeNewelll
BabeNewelll

EA are idiots

Avatar image for freakx2001
freakx2001

I think when most people are talking cross play these days they are referring to Xbox Vs Playstation. EA doesn't even have a game that is doing this, so they can't really comment on the stats.

I love having the option of playing with my console friends no matter what console we have. This needs to be a default feature for next generation.

Avatar image for greaseman1985
greaseman1985

"premium game [coming] this year that is a new twist on the Titanfall universe,"

Dude, just give us Titanfall 3. Enough with crap like "set in the Titanfall universe" or "twist on Titanfall" or "Titanfall experience".

Avatar image for videogameninja
videogameninja

-“Cross-play not widely used…”-

Well, of course not. It’s still in its infancy.

Once more developers/publishers, as well as the big 3, adopt cross play and integrate into their production of games more smoothly I can’t see it ever going backwards.

Gamers have been praying for this kind of a scenario to unfold since rival gaming consoles first entered the market so to say that this kind of thing has gamers both excited and feeling long overdue is a huge understatement.

-ADVENT OF CROSS-PLAY NINJA APPROVED-

Avatar image for Darko-TDR
Darko-TDR

Now where are all those Sony haters in the comments, then again it is the lying cheating bastard EA so...