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For many years now, we have seen multiplayer games begin to adopt “cross platform” multiplayer functionality. This allows players on different platforms to play the same game with each other. In previous generations, the online infrastructure between consoles was too different to facilitate connectivity between PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. Today, however, a surprisingly large number of titles, both large and small, allow people to play together regardless of the designated platform. This is especially important for men, who, in a recent survey by ExpressVPN, said they play online to keep in touch with friends and meet new people. So the benefits of cross-platform multiplayer should be clear to everyone: you don’t need to worry about buying the right console to play with or against your friends.
What started the trend of embracing cross-platform play? It’s hard to pinpoint a specific game, but the most high-profile release to implement the feature was in 2019. call of duty: modern warfare. Activision Blizzard Obligations The franchise has been one of the biggest properties in gaming for over a decade. He had exclusive deals for multiplayer content on both Xbox 360 and PS4 many moons ago. As calls for cross-platform compatibility increased, Activision Blizzard finally listened to the fans and implemented it on the Modern war restart. This helped combine the massive audience into a single online pool and gave gamers competition that would not wane due to a lack of interest in a particular platform.
Another big push came with Fortnite. Epic Games was eager to embrace cross-platform functionality and implemented it in Fortnite for PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch in 2018, but the PS4 was left out of the equation due to some short-sighted decisions by Sony. Eventually, Sony relented, and Epic’s massive battle royale title became the first game to feature cross-platform functionality across all major (and even mobile) platforms. Other games soon followed, including Minecraftand it seemed that the gears were turning for this great change.
Since 2019, we have seen games like destiny 2, Among us, borderlands 3, dirt 5, Power Rangers: Battle for the Netand Tetris effect connected embrace cross-platform play. Even fighting games have joined in, with mortal kombat 11 with functionality for Xbox and PlayStation players and street fighter 6 pitting PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S gamers against each other. It’s not yet a given that new titles will feature cross-platform multiplayer, but it’s more common now than ever in the past.
We are long gone from the days when Microsoft tried to force Xbox functionality into Windows with “Games for Windows Live” and only supported a couple of cross-platform games. We’re also beyond limited cross-platform exclusivity, as seen on street fighter v. Games have gotten so much bigger and spread to so many different platforms that publishers have pretty much been forced to implement the feature, or their games will look stale.
Back in the day, console hardware was so fundamentally different from one another that it made sense why Xbox couldn’t connect with a PS2. However, in modern times, game development has become more standardized and the online infrastructure is more compatible than locking things into a specific platform just seems dated. Smaller independent teams may not be able to implement cross-platform, but major triple-A releases should have enough resources to include the feature as standard.