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PlayStation’s Shawn Layden suggests upcoming changes to PS4 Fortnite cross-play

PlayStation chief Shawn Layden yesterday gave the first hint that the company might be softening its line on PlayStation cross-play, an issue that has been brought front-and-centre by the launch of Fortnite on Switch.

Speaking at Gamelab conference in Barcelona, the Sony executive was asked by Eurogamer’s Rob Purchese the question that’s been on everyone’s minds, what’s the situation with cross-play and Fortnite specifically: “I wondered if there were any plans to open it up? It seems to be Sony’s not listening?” He asked.

To which Layden replied: "We’re hearing it. We’re looking at a lot of the possibilities. You can imagine that the circumstances around that affect a lot more than just one game. I’m confident we’ll get to a solution which will be understood and accepted by our gaming community, while at the same time supporting our business."

He wouldn’t be drawn any further on the subject. But it does look like there may be discussion behind the scenes to allow players to play Fortnite, and other titles, where and when they want.

The issue, for Sony, isn’t really to do with letting people play together. It’s rather that in-game items and passes bought on other platforms could then be used to play the game on PlayStation – for which the company wouldn’t receive its usual 30 per cent cut. Which could potentially open up a pricing war for in-game items in the future.

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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