Bethesda's Pete Hines has confirmed that Fallout 76, the first of the company's post-apocalyptic first-person shooter games to feature multiplayer functionality, will not support cross-platform multiplayer - despite his company having blamed Sony's now-changed stance on the matter for its previous absence.

While most console manufacturers have cottoned on to the need to allow users to play multiplayer titles with their friends regardless of platform, Sony has long been reluctant to join its rivals Microsoft and Nintendo in allowing cross-platform play between consoles. The company made a surprise volte-face last night, however, with the announcement that it would begin to allow developers to add cross-platform multiplayer to their games, starting with a beta of Fortnite Battle Royale.

The change came following mounting pressure from both consumers and developers, with Bethesda's Todd Howard having specifically blamed the company for a lack of cross-play support in upcoming post-apocalypse-'em-up Fallout 76 back in June. With Sony now finally making progress on the matter, Fallout fans have turned to Bethesda to see if that means Fallout 76 will be cross-platform multiplayer compatible - and the answer is a firm no.

'Fallout 76 does not support crossplay, for a number of reasons,' tweets communications senior vice president Pete Hines of Bethesda's work on the title. 'I have no idea if it ever will. But I assure you it is not on our radar right now as we focus on B.E.T.A. [Break it Early Test Application, Bethesda's in-universe name for the game's beta test period] and launch.' When asked to clarify why cross-platform multiplayer isn't possible, Hines clarified: 'I never said [it wasn't] possible. I said it doesn't support it and it's not gonna be a focus at this point with B.E.T.A. and launch so close on the horizon.'

While it's true that the game is now a mere seven weeks from release, the tight timescale has not deterred fans subscribing to a punctilious reading of the company's previous comments on the matter as being entirely due to Sony's now-changed position on allowing multiplayer functionality between the PlayStation 4 and rival consoles. 'How come Fortnite and Rocket League could allow that by just flipping a switch and it actually happened by accident,' Twitter user 'Duck Man' asks, referring to Rocket League's limited cross-play between PlayStation 4 and PC users and an accidental activation of Xbox and PlayStation 4 cross-play in Fortnite earlier this month ahead of Sony's beta announcement, 'yet you couldn't manage to do it in 7 weeks, with no official plans to allow it in the future?'

Fallout 76 launches on Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One - without cross-platform multiplayer - on November 14th.

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October 14 2021 | 15:04