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Xbox says it's willing to work with devs to make cross-platform play happen

"The demands of consumers and developers have changed," Xbox VP Mike Ybarra explains why cross-platform play is ultimately better for the video game industry as a whole.

Alissa McAloon, Publisher

August 29, 2017

1 Min Read

Xbox is willing to go to bat for developers interested in cross-platform multiplayer play. Speaking to VG247, Xbox vice president Mike Ybarra said that the company is open to conversation with developers looking to support cross-play on PC and consoles.

While enabling cross-play may not be a difficult process from the technical side of things, getting the companies behind each system to support multiplatform play is a different story entirely. According to Ybarra, Xbox is now interested in helping devs tear down those barriers. 

“The demands of consumers and developers have changed,” says Ybarra. “People are like, ‘we want all of our gamers in one multiplayer pool together, playing’."

“We totally agree with that. If any developer wants to have that conversation Valve is right down the street from us, Nintendo is too - they’re like a block from us," he says. "We’re having these discussions as developers come up, and we’re completely open to that.”

While a number of recent games have been able to connect Xbox, PC, and Switch players, the PlayStation 4 has been left out of any major cross-play collaboration, seemingly by Sony’s own volition.

Meanwhile, Microsoft owned Minecraft is soon to open up cross-platform multiplayer on Windows 10, iOS, Android, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and VR devices. Xbox is also one of the platforms offering cross-platform play for Rocket League alongside Windows, Steam, and the Switch

“It’s more about gamer choice, more about making an IP on our platform last longer,” Ybarra tells VG247. “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.”

About the Author(s)

Alissa McAloon

Publisher, GameDeveloper.com

As the Publisher of Game Developer, Alissa McAloon brings a decade of experience in the video game industry and media. When not working in the world of B2B game journalism, Alissa enjoys spending her time in the worlds of immersive sandbox games or dabbling in the occasional TTRPG.

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