The fact that Sony doesn’t like to play ball with Miscrosoft and Nintendo is nothing new, but when earlier this month we realized there is no way to play Fortnite between consoles, people were shocked and angry.
From a business perspective, it sort of makes sense- any company wants to have a monopoly, to have a dedicated fanbase that will only use their brand. There’s honest ways of trying to do this, which is doing what nobody else has done before and being good at it or dishonest ways of doing it- impeding or hurting your competition. Historically, the latter is easier.
But a consumer backlash isn’t entirely useless and if it gets big enough to appear as though it might have an effect on the bottom line, companies will sometimes review their policies.
Case in point: Sony America’s CEO Shawn Layden said this in his interview with Eurogamer: “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.”
While at first glance it sounds like a ray of hope, do note the use of the word “our” gaming community, creating an artificial, tribal line between gamers, as well as an acknowledgment that “supporting Sony’s business” is the thing that matters here. So don’t get your hopes up. Like I said, consumer backlash isn’t very useful against a company holding all the cards.
At least he’s up-front an honest about the fact that if Sony determines that they can get away with this, they won’t lift a finger.