Hey it's been at least a couple of weeks since that whole cross-play thing was in the headlines, so it's about time someone sparked the conversation again. Cue Bethesda's Pete Hines talking to Game Informer about The Elder Scrolls Legends, and that the game may not actually launch on PlayStation 4 if Sony doesn't allow cross-play functionality.
"[The Elder Scrolls Legends] is a strategy card game that encompasses both single and multiplayer. It is both cross-platform play and cross-platform progress," Hines states rather specifically. When pressed on the matter, he explains, "it is our intention in order for the game to come out, it has to be those things on any system. We cannot have a game that works one way across everywhere else except for on this one thing."
Hines continues: "The way the game works right now on Apple, Google, Steam, and Bethesda.net, it doesn't matter where you buy your stuff, if you play it on another platform that stuff is there. It doesn't matter what platform you play on, you play against everyone else who is playing at that moment."
So, it seems as though Bethesda is pretty adamant about all this -- the publisher clearly wants an equal experience on all platforms. When asked if he's pointing a finger at PS4 in particular, Hines goes on to say, "those [terms] are essentially non-negotiable. We can't be talking about one version of Legends, where you take your progress with you, and another version where you stay within that ecosystem or its walled off from everything else. That is counter to what the game has been about."
In other words, it sounds like the ball is now in Sony's court. With all due respect to The Elder Scrolls Legends, it's not exactly a blockbuster release, but it's still interesting to see Bethesda take such a firm stance. If the publisher really is pushing this, then Sony will either have to miss out on the game, or it'll have to allow cross-play. And as we've said before, once the cross-play gates are open, closing them is no easy task.