The documents that are coming out via the case between Epic Games and Apple continue to reveal some frightening things.
A few years ago, Sony had Gio Corsi as the head of developer relations. He was the person who Epic Games contacted about the cross-play idea (and we had to wait until 2018 to see Sony approve of the notion), and Gio quickly shuffled Tim Sweeney’s team away, as nobody had a proper explanation on how cross-play would benefit the PlayStation business. This discussion was found by The Verge’s Tom Warren.
The first email shows that in 2018, Sony wrote to Epic Games that they don’t support the cross-play concept for Fortnite, even though Epic brought up that they’d go out of their way to depict Sony as heroes in the plot (in other words, giving the „blue team” positive PR). But at the same time, Sony brought up a revenue-sharing scheme. In short, if at least 85% of a cross-play title’s revenue was generated on PlayStation, then the dev/publisher wouldn’t have to pay anything. However, under this percentage, the wallets would have to be opened. Let’s say that it’s quite a bold move. Warren’s linked email mentions that Sony would have used this income to „offset the reduction in revenue” from enabling cross-play.
According to the proposal, Sony would have received information each month, allowing it to see how much revenue was generated on the PlayStation Network. Aside from the PSN Revenue Share, the percentage of gamers on PlayStation 4 would also be confirmed. The proposal would have split the data into regions (the Americas, Europe, Japan, Asia), and Sony would have wanted to receive the revenue within thirty days each month, but if a game doesn’t generate more than 500K USD in twelve months, it wouldn’t be charged at all. But this amount would have easily been hit by bigger dev teams and publishers alike… however, it might have been an active thing behind the scenes all along, as Sweeney openly claims that they have paid a lot of cash for Sony to have cross-play!
Meanwhile, Sony is looking into expansion elsewhere. Jim Ryan, the president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, announced that they entered a partnership with Discord, allowing this chat program to be integrated into the PlayStation Network by 2022. We can’t wait for Sony to begin censoring NSFW content…