In 2018, a public outcry from Fortnite players seemingly pushed Sony to finally support crossplay on the PlayStation 4. Until its big shift with Fortnite, Sony had repeatedly chosen not to support crossplay for other games like Minecraft and Rocket League. Newly-released documents from the Epic Games v Apple lawsuit now show how Epic tried to negotiate with Sony for crossplay, and that once Sony did finally allow cross-platform play, it began charging developers based on how much their game earned on other platforms.In a 2019 Sony document titled "Cross-platform revenue share," Sony outlined a royalty payment policy for games that earn a significant portion of their money on platforms other than the PS4. "If the proportion of PSN Revenue Share divided by the PS4 Gameplay Share for a title is less than .85 in any given month, the Partner will pay SIE a royalty to offset the reduction in revenue." That's a bit dense, but the gist is that Sony wants to ensure that PlayStation players aren't running off to spend their money elsewhere while still relying on Sony's servers/infrastructure.Sony's example chart breaks down how its royalty payments would work. It shows how a game earning $1 million in a month across all platforms would owe Sony no crossplay royalties if $900,000 of that total came from PSN, while 95% of the total playerbase was on Sony's platform. In that scenario, the PSN revenue share works out to 90%—above Sony's 85% threshold, meaning no royalty is owed.Epic lawsuit shows that Sony gets royalties if too many PlayStation players spend money elsewhere.
Sony charges for crossplay support to protect PSN revenue, documents show | PC Gamer