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"Fortnite." Image: Epic Games

Sony wants cross-platform multiplayer, or cross-play, in more games, PlayStation chief Jim Ryan told Axios in a recent interview.

Why it matters: Times have changed. Market-leading PlayStation notoriously dragged its feet in allowing multiplayer games to connect PlayStation fans with players on other devices.

"We support and encourage cross-play," Ryan told us, noting cross-play with PlayStation works on numerous big games such as "Fortnite," "Rocket League," "Call of Duty," "Minecraft," and, soon, "Destiny 2."

  • "That number will continue to grow," he said.

Flashback: PlayStation was the last to support cross-play with other consoles back in 2018, relenting a year later.

  • Court documents revealed during the recent Epic-Apple trial indicated that Sony allowed cross-play for "Fortnite" in exchange for a cut of revenue from players who mostly play on PlayStation but buy in-game items on other platforms.

Between the lines: Not all is rosy with PlayStation cross-play. Last month, Gearbox president Randy Pitchford tweeted that his studio's popular "Borderlands 3" would gain cross-play support on all platforms but PlayStation.

  • "For certification, we have been required by the publisher to remove crossplay support for PlayStation consoles," he wrote.
  • A rep for "Borderlands" publisher Take Two did not specify to Axios what the issue was, but said "our teams are exploring crossplay functionality that will enable fans to play with their friends across multiple platforms."
  • Regarding "Borderlands," Ryan told Axios he didn't want to talk about a "live business issue with a long-standing partner," but noted "our policies are consistent across all of the publishers."

Go deeper

Jun 18, 2021 - Health

Red Cross asks for blood donations amid "severe" national shortage

A health care worker taking a donor's blood at a drive hosted by the New York Blood Center in New York City on June 14. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

The American Red Cross asked the public this week to help replenish the United States' depleted blood inventory amid a "severe" national shortage.

Why it matters: The non-profit said the shortage is likely driven by a recent surge in trauma cases and emergency room visits, as well as advanced disease progression from patients deferring care throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Why online games have a shorter life span

"Grand Theft Auto Online" will join a growing list of obsolete games on older platforms this December when Rockstar Game shuts down the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game.

Why it matters: Video game preservation is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to video games, physical or otherwise.

Bezos beats Branson in space billionaires' battle for attention

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Imtiyaz Shaikh (Anadolu Agency), Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Jeff Bezos' flight into space generated more interest from the public than Richard Branson's, and both billionaires overshadowed their respective space companies.

Why it matters: Data shows an outsized public interest in the personalities at the center of the space trips, compared to the companies behind them — which could reinforce public suspicion that the ventures were partly vanity plays.

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