To update: Now that social media has a better understanding of what the Crossplay Policy implemented by PlayStation actually means, the backlash has shifted to the fact that Sony is the only organization enforcing it. To be fair, this is at least a better stop for fan frustration – even if the clause generally makes sense from a business perspective.
Epic Games head Tim Sweeney confirmed in court today that Sony is the only platform that has a policy that could potentially reward them with royalties if the relationship between a game’s revenue and PlayStation playtime is disproportionate. “If someone plays mostly on PlayStation but pays on iPhone, it can trigger compensation,” he said.
However, Sweeney did not disclose whether Epic Games ever actually had to pay that fee Fourteen days or one of its other titles. The legitimate concern of some players is that this clause could discourage some publishers from supporting crossplay, despite the number of All PS5, PS4 crossplay games grows every month. We need additional insight from publishers to know if this is the case.
It’s worth noting that PlayStation has it all in the crossplay area these days: MLB The Show 21 is, to our knowledge, the first sports game to support this feature, and it was developed by an in-house Sony team.
Elsewhere it was also pointed out that publishers cannot transfer virtual currency to and from PlayStation platforms. Expect more dirty laundry to air in the coming days as the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games reveals all sorts of secrets to the industry.
Original story: Ah, the old lawsuit from Epic Games and Apple strikes again! New spreadsheets seem to suggest that Sony is charging developers for implementing crossplay with PlayStation platforms. As is often the case with these legalities, technically it is not. You can remember a Resident Evil Village Clause had Twitter burned a few weeks ago, only so that the actual language is completely misinterpreted.
So what’s going on here? Well, the document relates This is basically a clause that ensures that Sony will receive royalties from developers if there is a disproportionate relationship between PlayStation playtime and total game revenue in a crossplay version. You’re still confused, aren’t you?
So let’s introduce ourselves Fourteen days flew $ 1,000,000 worth of V-Bucks in one month, but only $ 50,000 was spent through the PS Store. That’s only 5 percent of the total game sales purchased on PlayStation, isn’t it? Now let’s imagine that in this scenario, 75 percent of all Fortnite game time was on PS5 and PS4. In this case, the publisher would have to pay Sony royalties based on the total revenue and total gameplay portion of PlayStation.
Why, you may be wondering, is Sony doing this? Well, if 75 percent of Fortnite’s game time is played on PSN, but only 5 percent of sales come from Sony’s storefront, the platform owner protection clause exists as it provides the infrastructure and player base, while others would in this example of it benefit.
But let’s say Fortnite has $ 1,000,000 in monthly revenue and $ 900,000 is spent on the PS Store. That’s 90 percent of the game’s total revenue. What if 95 percent of the game play time is logged on PlayStation? In this scenario, developers would not have to pay license fees as this is within what Sony deems fair.
It’s an interesting clause, but makes sense from a PlayStation perspective: if it provides the majority of the player base, then it stands to reason that a roughly comparable share of sales is expected. It’s worth noting that the vast majority of people are most likely to purchase microtransactions on the system they are playing on. So we would be shocked if there was ever a big enough difference between revenue sharing and game time to enforce royalties on a developer.
The way this was portrayed on social media was misleading. Many believe that Sony hires developers to implement crossplay in the first place. Because of the foil, this is not the case. It should also be emphasized that these documents are from 2019 and the company has not yet commented on whether this clause still exists or not.