If games industry giants can be seen as extremely territorial siblings, each jealously guarding his or her own possessions and unwilling to work with others, then Microsoft is positioning itself as the one who is finally maturing and willing to reach out.
One of the big topics for consoles of late is that of “crossplay” — allowing the same game on different platforms to offer shared gaming space for its community. Some titles have this; Sea of Thieves made waves at Gamescom by announcing that it will support crossplay between Xbox One and PC, while Final Fantasy XIV has had crossplay for its PlayStation and PC community for years now.
Some, such as ARK, are resisting this functionality. Companies such as Sony are being blamed for stonewalling further efforts to break down these walls of segregation.
For its part, Microsoft said that it’s very willing to have a conversation with Sony, Nintendo, and Valve about furthering the cause of crossplay. “It’s more about gamer choice, more about making an IP on our platform last longer,” said Xbox Vice President Mike Ybarra in an interview. “I don’t care about where they play, I just want people to have fun playing games because that’s just better for the industry.”