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Bethesda Heading Toward Potential Standoff with Sony

It appears that The Elder Scrolls: Legends card game could pit Bethesda in a standoff with Sony over cross-play across consoles, as Sony has been stubbornly resistant to the idea of cross-play across multiple platforms and consoles, despite willingness from other brands, such as Microsoft.

“It’s way more pertinent to Legends,” Pete Hines, Bethesda’s senior vice president of marketing and communication said, according to EuroGamer’s Robert Purchese.

“Fallout 76, sure: it would be nice if I could play on my Xbox and my kid is playing on his PC and we can play together, but if we can’t, OK. There’s lots of games – I play Overwatch on Xbox and he plays on PC separately and has a whole separate account. It’s not critical.

“But for Legends it’s absolutely critical,” he said, “both cross-play, which is how Legends works right now on every device – you’re playing against somebody who could be on any device – and, more importantly, cross-platform progression, which means no matter what you do on any platform, you load up the game and so long as you’re logged in, here is all your progression, here is everything you had, everything you were doing.

“If you were in the middle of a match on PC and I flipped that [he gestures at my laptop] closed while you’re in the middle of a match and you load it up on your phone, you would be right back in the match where you were. That is a must for us on any platform. If we have to start segmenting our audience to say ‘folks on this platform can only play folks on that platform’, or ‘any progress you make on that platform can’t be there’, then man, that’s a bad situation.”

Fortnite has been putting pressure on Sony as well, and has been vocal with their support of cross-play, and with the popularity of Fortnite, Sony has still be steadfast in their current ways, which raises the question, what can Elder Scrolls do to sway Sony?

. “We continue to make our case for ‘this is how it needs to work’ and ‘this is how it needs to function’. But we are moving ahead with the assumption that any platform we release it on must support cross-progression and cross-play.

“I am aware of the conflict that arises given that statement but we are continuing to work on it.”

He said Bethesda is “always” talking to Sony about the issue. “But in fairness not just with Sony – with everybody. We need everybody to be on board and understand – Nintendo, Microsoft – this is how we’re proceeding. I don’t want anybody to think I’m trying to single Sony out because I’m not,” he said. “These conversations we have, we have with everybody, including Apple and Google.”

And if Sony stays their course, what would Bethesda do then?

“This is a really good question,” Hines continued. “I imagine the answer is fairly dire but I don’t want to jump to conclusions yet because there’s a lot of space between ‘yes’ and ‘no’. What if they so ‘no’ to this but ‘yes’ to this?” It could present an unforeseen and workable solution.

“It remains to be seen,” he said. “Whatever they say, we will continue to have a conversation with any platform directly. I don’t want to play this out in the court of public opinion. We respect Sony, we respect Microsoft, we respect Nintendo. If I or my company has an issue, we will bring it up with them directly; we know who to call, we know who to email – we’ll talk to them and see if we can figure it out.”



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