The developer of Rocket League has said that at least one person from its team has been in touch with Sony every day since launch, and that the topic of cross-platform play has always been met with the same answer.
It was confirmed at E3 that the Switch version of Rocket League will allow owners to play with PC and Xbox owners online (as will Minecraft). Sony, however, has opted against allowing PS4 owners to join the fun.
"There have been slight variations on how it’s been presented to us, but essentially it’s the same answer," Psyonix VP Jeremy Dunham told Engadget. "It’s ‘not right now" or ‘it’s something we’ll consider.’ That’s paraphrasing, but there hasn’t been any movement.
"I don’t view it as a competitive loss to allow cross-network play. I view it as a competitive disadvantage not to have it. Especially if you’re the only one [holding out]."
Dunham added that Nintendo said yes to the proposal on the same day it was suggested, while Microsoft gave the OK after just a month.
The developer also pointed out that Sony has in fact permitted crossplay on its platforms in the past. DC Universe online allows for PC crossplay, while EVE: Valkyrie hooks up online with players using wither HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.
When pressed at E3 about crossplatform multiplayer, Sony’s Jim Ryan seemed to suggest that the decision was based on a safety concern.
It’s a commercial discussion between ourselves and other stakeholders, and I’m not going to get into the detail of that on this particular instance,” he explained. We’ve got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base.
Minecraft – the demographic playing that, you know as well as I do, it’s all ages but it’s also very young. We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe. Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it’s something we have to think about very carefully.”
Dunham pointed out that in Rocket League’s case, as there is no voice chat and players communicating only through pre-written text prompts, the safety excuse feels a bit weak. "We have all these protections in place to ensure your experience isn’t terrible," he added. "There’s always gonna be trolls that can find a way to do anything, but that’s not platform agnostic — that’s universal."