Gaming has changed in many ways throughout the past decade. However, the rise of online play has had a more monumental impact than anything. Developers today focus on making games for people to play together online more often than single-player titles.
That being said, online play comes with some safety risks for players. Now, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are teaming up to establish a set of guidelines that will make playing online safer. Since the trio controls the majority of the gaming industry, the new guidelines will have a major impact on the world of online play.
While online safety is extremely important, most gamers care about cross-platform play, or crossplay, more. This allows friends with different consoles to play their favorite games together. While crossplay is now a part of most major games, it hasn’t always been.
That’s mostly due to the fact that Sony didn’t make its PlayStation platform accessible until very recently. It cited various differences in how online environments are moderated as the reason for disabling crossplay.
In 2017, PlayStation’s head of global sales and marketing, Jim Ryan, told Eurogamer, “We have a contract with the people who go online with us, that we look after them and they are within the PlayStation curated universe. Exposing what in many cases are children to external influences we have no ability to manage or look after, it’s something we have to think about very carefully.”
In a joint statement, Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft said, “Protecting players online requires a multidisciplinary approach. One that combines the benefits of advanced technology, a supportive community, and skilled human oversight.”
The trio’s new guidelines will ensure that each console manufacturer takes a similar approach to keeping players safe. The collaboration also means that rules will be enforced in roughly the same way on each platform to create a safer, more consistent environment.
More to Come
The gaming industry is very divided since players tend to have an unwavering devotion to one of the main console makers (or PCs). Often described as the console “wars,” this divide frequently prohibits collaboration within the industry.
That being said, the recent announcement by Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo is a refreshing bit of teamwork. The trio’s statement reads, “This partnership signifies our commitment to work together to improve player safety and ensure gaming remains truly for everyone.”
It covers three main areas—prevention, partnership, and responsibility. The first means allowing players to customize their privacy controls to filter out unwanted interactions. Partnership requires that the three companies will work together when changing or creating safety initiatives. Finally, responsibility highlights the trio’s commitment to transparency regarding privacy features and the rules that govern online play.
While the announcement doesn’t include any specific changes, there will certainly be updates in the days to come.