Sony demands a royalty from publishers for their games to have crossplay on PS4, like Fortnite
Leaked documents from Sony and Epic Games, during the litigation between Epic and Apple, reveal that publishers must pay Sony a royalty for games like Fortnite to have crossplay on PS4. According to Epic, Sony is the only company with a rate like this.
The crossplay, or crossplay, is increasingly common in online multiplayer games that come out on consoles and PC, and players appreciate it: you can play with your friends regardless of whether you play from PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC or mobile. However, not all companies were on board with the idea: Sony was one of the reluctant, blocking crossplay in Minecraft or Fortnite, to the discontent of users, who protested until they rectified.
A series of confidential documents, declassified during the trial between Apple and Epic Games, currently underway, reveal the extent to which Sony opposed allowing cross-play between all platforms with the PlayStation 4 version of Fortnite. It is even revealed in a later document that Sony charges a commission to companies whose games allow crossplay.
The Verge media reveals two documents. First, an email issued by Epic Games to Sony from 2018, a few months before Sony announced the blocking of crossplay in Fortnite. In it, Epic considers that this situation (blocking crossplay on PS4) would be detrimental for both, and “they do not see any scenario in which Epic does not get what they want.”
Joe Kreiner, vice president of business development for Epic Games, signed the email, and they offered to give Sony exclusive Fortnite content (promotions on PS Plus, exclusive skins), offering to have all Epic events at E3 (2018) have the PlayStation brand, and even let Sony organize a crossplay announcement in which, in verbatim words, “Epic allowed Sony to remain as heroes“.
That request, almost a plea from Epic Games, did not catch on at Sony, who refused. Gio Corsi, the director of development relations at Sony at the time, responded that crossplay “is not a shot,” and even replies that “no company has yet been able to explain why crossplay improves PlayStation’s businessIf you remember that E3, Epic Games ended up giving Nintendo and Xbox THAT opportunity to “look like heroes”, which included this image in their Fortnite trailers: “Survive together”.
A few months later, Epic Games ended up enabling Fortnite crossplay on PS4. And, according to this Sony document, dated August 2019, a percentage is detailed in the form of “royalties” that publishers of games that offer crossplay must pay to Sony, to compensate for the reduction in revenue by calculating the percentage of revenue in PSN and the percentage of play on PS4. In other words: companies like Epic Games must pay Sony a percentage to allow their games to be crossplayed.
The document also stipulates other measures, such as that funds cannot be transferred from the console wallet to the game wallet, and that there is an option that disables all cross-platform interactions. And according to Tom Warren, a journalist for The Verge, Epic assures that Sony is the only company that has a rate like this.
Source: The Verge